Potato Weekly - 28 May 2021

UK coastal regions enjoyed uptick in potato trade

Some potato markets have been a little busier ahead of the bank holiday weekend. Coastal regions in particular have enjoyed an uptick in trade as the hospitality trade gears up for a long weekend. Forecast sunny and warm weather, following a cold wet period, could drive further domestic tourist movement.

Next week’s half-term break has seen demand decline for education sectors. This has affected some chipping, packing and processing markets.

An increase in warmer sunnier weather is now needed for the planted new-crop; the many days of rainfall potentially delaying future lifting operations. A common belief of a ‘week or two’ delay is held, with lifting of some fields now expected in July. If warmer weather appears, crops will be able to push on well with adequate moisture reserves held in the soil.

Market commentary

Packing

  • Free-buy packing trade has been slow this week, with continued muted level of demand for many. Any small increases in movement were mostly from those supplying areas popular with the bank holiday trade.
  • Demand for bakers has reportedly increased this week, though reported volumes were still below validation levels for publishing.
  • As we draw closer to season end, supplies of Maris Piper dwindle with prices strengthening as a result. The median English Maris Piper price increased to £315/t this week with demand still reportedly strong.

Bags

  • The bank holiday weekend has elevated demand levels, particularly for coastal regions. Here, expectations are for a busy few days, with staycations a popular option. Conversely, inner city urban chip shops have seen a lower level of demand, with foreign tourism levels minimal due to current travel restrictions.
  • Agria continues to push on this week, strengthening in price as the median for the East increases £5/t to £355/t. Sales have been recorded at the top end of £400/t too. For some, sourcing Agria supplies has been difficult and so turn to other popular varieties.
  • Markies has enjoyed the attention of those wishing to replace Agria for some jobs. The median price for the East has increased £30/t this week to £250/t. Sales of best quality samples have been recorded at £300/t. Better supply levels of Markies has enabled fresh demand to be met and prices increasing on the back of Agria trade.
  • We are unable to publish prices for the West region this week due to a lower level of samples recorded. It was reported that many have been sourcing out the East due to lower supply levels held in the West.

Processing

The processing trade has been steady this week. Demand has faltered slightly for some with the half-term break for schools next week.

Maris Piper supplies have been difficult to source as stores begin to empty. This week, the median price declined £35/t to £130/t, owing to a reduced level of quality within samples traded.

Exports

Reports are that the export season for tourism trade has come to a close. No prices have been quoted this week.


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