Irish potato consumption and demand continue to return to pre-pandemic levels; the current cost of living crisis is certainly influencing consumption also. Demand for queens remains positive at present.
Growers continue to prepare for harvest. Some growers in the south east are now lifting their crops. Recent rainfall has aided harvesting conditions. According to reports, yields are much lower than last year.
Also, at the start of the harvest, growers are very concerned about energy costs for storing crops this season. Growers must be compensated for storing potatoes immediately.
Across Europe, stability in the market is being maintained by exporters looking to supply Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe for fresh consumption and frying varieties. Quality is reported to be good, but further estimates this week of total crop production include the latest from Belgium, which shows current yield curves between 15 and 25% below the long-term average.
Crops are not handling the dry conditions well, with lower tuber size and very high dry matter. In France, government estimates put the reduction in total crop at 10%,whereas, industry estimates are closer to 20%.