Potato prices have fallen for the fourth week running as more supplies come to market.

The Potato Council’s GB average price fell £6.50/t to £150.92/t in the week to 10 September, but that was still almost £40/t above the same week last year. Free market prices also dropped, by £12.82/t on the week, to £157.65/t, as growers moved stocks not required for long-term storage, the council’s latest report said.

“Packing demand remains variable and, as more growers complete cereal harvest and concentrate on potatoes, competition for orders is increasing. As a result there is downward pressure on prices in many regions.” Quality problems were also increasing, diverting more material to the general packing market.

Bagged trade was declining due to seasonal lower demand, and prices were also easing, said the report. “Loading pressure is therefore increasing, particularly from growers wanting some movement of poorer crops and those clearing stock they do not wish to store long-term. However, those with best Maris Piper are still not planning to start lifting and storage for another two weeks, which is maintaining prices for the limited top samples currently available.”

As of 10 September, 23% of the crop had been lifted, compared with 27% last year, and yields were slightly down on last year.