Potatoes being harvested© Tim Scrivener

Potato prices fell slightly in the week to 13 January, with the GB weekly average losing £0.84/t to £143.28/t ex-farm, as trade remained slow.

In contrast, the free-buy average jumped up £6.44/t to £84.06/t, recovering ground as more supplies were traded in the second week of January, according to AHDB Potatoes.

Free-buy movement in both the English and Scottish packing markets remained slow with Maris Piper prices remaining firm in the week to 12 January at £185/t.

See also: Outlook 2018: Opportunities for potato growers in processing

After the post-Christmas lull, movement of Desiree and King Edward had picked up, with values averaging £140/t and £145/t, respectively.

Trade was also sluggish in the bag market, with orders consisting of minimal tonnage, reported ADHB.

Prices remained firm for both Agria and Maris Piper supplies, at £120/t and £95/t, while Sagitta frying values fell £5/t to settle at £105/t. Trade in Wilja had resumed with prices averaging £100/t.

There was limited trade in processing markets with prices for Maris Piper picking up slightly, to average £50-£65/t, up from £45-£65/t the previous week. Melody, Mozart and Nectar values all held steady at £30-£50/t.

Further afield, export demand continued to the Canary Islands, with King Edwards averaging £115-£140/t, up from £115/t the previous week.