Potatoes being lifted© Tim Scrivener

GB potatoes prices fell sharply in the week to 23 June, with the weekly average losing £14.38/t, to settle at £184.46/t ex-farm.

As the season approaches its end, values continued downward momentum.

The free-buy price experienced its largest weekly drop this season, falling £40.50/t to £166.17/t, and down £100.07/t on its peak of £266.24/t on 10 March 2017.

See also: Spud disease warning as aphids hit 10-year high

Demand remained slow in the English packing market, with contracted stocks continuing to dominate, said a report by AHDB Potatoes.

Free-buy prices had eased, with trade dedicated to the best bold samples, while the hot weather had also suppressed demand.

Packing values

Estima packing values continued to fall – losing £25/t on the week – to average £110/t, while the main bulk of Maris Piper supplies remained steady, at £195/t.

Bagged supplies of 2016 crop also saw values fall, with Agria, Maris Piper and Sagitta losing £15/t, £5/t and £10/t, to average £360/t, £270/t and £290/t respectively, said the report.

Supplies of 2016 Desiree and King Edward packing potatoes and Wilja bags had pretty much dried up.

The 2017 crop had benefitted from the hot daytime temperatures, which were conducive to good growth; however, some unirrigated crops had suffered from heat stress, it added.