Potato prices continue to firm, with the Potato Council’s free-buy average rising by £3.41 in the week to 7 September, to £262.09/t.
The overall GB average increased by £1/t, to £204.22, with contracted trade making up most of the sample, said the council’s latest report.
“Packing prices remain firm, reflecting tight supplies with the continued cereal harvest,” it said. “Most movement is on contract, with free-buy interest centered on whites with good baker contents.” Grade 1 whites were fetching £240-300/t, depending on the sample and baker fraction, while general pack samples were at £220-240/t.
Bagged supplies were also short, as the cereals harvest remained a priority. “This has maintained generally steady prices, despite increasing resistance to current values.” In the chipping sector in the east of England, most varieties were fetching £220-260/t, with top frying Maris Piper and Agria at £280-300/t.
Growers had lifted 19,000ha by 7 September, 16% of the total crop and just over 3,000ha more than last week’s estimate. “The GB harvest is running about three weeks behind last season. Yields are down on last year, with many growers reporting 34-39t/ha and a higher than normal level of smalls in many crops.”