Colder conditions should increase home consumption of potatoes following a very mild and settled October overall. Many growers are now finished lifting into stores as ground conditions allowed for a timely harvest in most regions. Growers in Donegal continue to make good progress. Yields are reported to be average with some quality issues such as cracking being noted.
Across Europe, harvesting is nearing completion in many regions. On the fresh markets, quality samples are being stored in the anticipation that values will increase but growers are keen to clear secondary quality samples to help cash flow. Outgrades including growth cracks are reported to be high and particularly in Belgium. Demand for export appears to be improving by the week both to Eastern Europe and Mediterranean countries although issues with transport are causing serious disruption.
In the UK, orders for M.Piper have been “reasonably” good again this week but buyers are having increasing difficulty sourcing good quality now that most of the crop is in store and growers are starting to look for price increases.