By FWi staff

DEMAND from multiple retailers for UK earlies is gaining pace, while low pricing levels in the wholesale market are keeping Mediterranean imports at bay.

“Confidence in the UK crop is growing as the rate of decline of prices shows signs of slowing,” says Peter Cooper of market analyst Potato Call.

Total loadings of Jerseys are 15,700t, 1500t up on this time last year. Movement was slow last week as multiple orders were down.

In Cornwall 80-90% of the poly-covered crop is expected to be cleared this week, but orders for the wholesale market remain slow.

Last weeks cooler weather has delayed bulking progress of the uncovered crop.

Supplies from Pembroke are now continuous, with more multiple involvement expected within the next few weeks

In Kent, growth of early open-ground crops has been slow this year. An increase in volume is expected in early June.

The first poly-covered Rocket are being lifted at 230/t ex-farm.

Open-ground earlies in the Midlands and the east are likely to be ready by the second week in June.

Irrigation for scab prevention is widespread on March-planted maincrop, especially in the Midlands.

Old-crop

Bulk grade 1 range from 40-160/t for Edward, with Piper fetching up to 200/t in the east.

Cara are worth 40-90/t, with other best whites fetching 130/t. Reds are worth 60-80/t.

Bag trade remains slow and selective. Piper ranges from 40-160 whilst most movement in the east is worth 70-100.

The weekly GB ex-farm average price increased again last week, up 1.45 to 70.03. This compares with 151.93/t this time last year.