Potato markets remain depressed, with slow demand keeping prices well below the same time last year.

Although the Potato Council’s GB average price improved by £1.84/t to £158.31/t in the week of 9 May, it was almost £145/t below last year.

See also: Potato sales drop in 2013

The free-buy average fell by £2.15/t on the week to £137.88/t – £252/t down on the year.

In the packing sector, contracted stocks continued to dominate movement, with limited demand for free-buy supplies focused on best quality bright whites with good baker contents, said the council’s latest report.

Grade 1 Desiree was priced at £100-150/t, with King Edwards at £120-140/t and Maris Piper at £160-200/t.

Chipping potatoes were trading in a range of £140-195/t, with limited free-buy trade for french fries in the processing sector pegged at around £100-115/t.

Demand for bagged old crop supplies also remained slow, said the report.

“Most of the remaining stocks in store are in good condition although there are some cases of seasonal deterioration.”

New crop plantings were almost complete, with more than 100,000ha planted by 10 May.

Cornish new potatoes were fetching £750-800/t, with Devon Rocket loaded at £1,650/t and Kent Riviere at £1,000/t.