Sales and consumption of Irish potatoes are quite typical for this time of year. Unfortunately, the cost of potato storage continues to reduce growers’ margins. Growers are encouraged to apply for the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) as the first claim period will close on January 31st.
Still, it appears that some growers will not be able to avail of the TBESS due to the reference period of the scheme. Growers must be rewarded for storing crops. There is good demand for peeling material, with prices reported to be rising.
Across Europe, buyers for the processing sector are now showing more interest in free buy and there is concern that continuing exports to Spain, Portugal and Italy will start to limit availability for processing later in the season.
Demand in the fresh sector remains flat and prices are generally unchanged this week but washing quality fresh potatoes from France are already being imported into Germany, four to eight weeks earlier than normal. In the U.K. Christmas stocks appear to be clearing and there has been more buying activity this week.