By FW reporters
HIGH demand for potato seed, coupled with low stocks, has seen prices for some varieties rocket. Growers holding out for cheaper supplies like last year will be disappointed, warns the trade.
The price of benchmark varieties like Piper and Peer has climbed to about £220/ t delivered, says David Scott of Morayshire-based seed Suppliers Gordon and Innes. Values are almost 60% higher than pre-Christmas levels, a reversal of last season, when prices fell over £100/ t.
Simon Bowen of Anglian Produce says: “A lot of growers who bought early last year got caught out. Consequently, they have been a bit conservative in their ordering this year. I hope they will come off the fence now, there is less good quality seed about.”
Ron Reiss of Agrico says: “Buyers have increasingly tight variety specifications,” says Agricos. “We took a hiding last year on less popular ones. Some, like Cosmos and Picasso, are almost impossible to shift.”
Prices are expected to remain at £200/ t plus for mainstream varieties, with Estima worth about £230/ t delivered.