By FWi staff

OVERALL movement for the early potato crop is about 25,000t behind the same period last year, totalling 130,625t last Thursday (13 July).

“The late planting date this season has meant that crop growth is well behind,” said a spokesman from the British Potato Council.

“A knock-on effect of this is that yields are also down this season, which has pushed prices up.

“We still have two weeks of the earlies season left and I expect to see prices stay at about 127/t, compared with an average of 55/t last year.”

The recent warmer weather is expected to help crop bulking, but growers are being warned to be vigilant of blight risks and be diligent with spraying programmes.

In Cornwall, best-quality and frying samples range between 80-100/t, up to 120/t for best.

Bulk movement is steady, with prices currently ranging 80-100/t for wholecrop up to 135/t in Devon.

Chipping varieties in Pembroke are mainly 110-120/t.

Charlotte salads are fetching up to 160/t for best and bulk is mainly 100-110/t.

In Kent, bulk movement is steady, mainly 140-150/t up to 150/t for best.

Bagged samples are worth 140-160/t, up to 180/t for selected Maris Bard.

Prices in Lincolnshire are slightly lower fetching up to 155/t for top material.

Best samples for baking are worth 195-200/t.

In Suffolk and Essex bag prices are in the range of 120-180/t, mainly 140-1150/t.

The first BPC ex-farm weekly average price for the new-crop year is 135.28/t.