By FWi staff

Monday, 13 July, 1998

DELAYED planting of potatoes appears to be already having an effect on market prices, according to the latest British Potato Council report.

Many growers are finding themselves without sufficient crops ready to lift. This has spurred buyers to offer higher prices of £120-150/ tonne for the best chipping varieties.

Increased interest has pushed prices upward, reports BPC information manager Rob Burrow. High dry-matter supplies of Premiere and salad Charlotte, Peer, and Carlingford are performing particularly well.

Considering the increases in daily volume early last week, farm-gate prices remain unshakeable, Mr Burrow comments.

The BPCs weekly ex-farm average for earlies now stands at £120.59/ tonne, compared with just £70.29/ tonne this time last year.

The Pounds strength continues to slow the export trade but steady progress is being made. Cumulative shipments from 1 June to 3 July stand at 4,311 tonnes compared with 5,195 tonnes for the same period in 1997.