By FWi staff

AS potato planting gets under way, the British Potato Council is urging producers to find a buyer for the crop first – and not make the same mistake as last year.

“Markets are creaking under the strain of oversupply,” notes the BPC in its weekly report.

“In order to clear stores, some growers are accepting lows of 15-20/t for unattractive, scabby stocks, while for some uncommitted tonnage it is now very hard to find a buyer.”

Bulk grade 1 samples are trading between 50-70/t, with a small number of top material at 85/t and a rare 130/t in the East.

Grade 2 material remains steady between 15-30/t, while bag sales are currently from 20-40/t.

Best bag samples are trading up from 50-70/t and a few top Piper are at 80/t, with Cara at 110/t.

Processing material is from 15-30/t, with the odd specialist-size Piper at 35-40/t.

The BPC weekly GB ex-farm average inched up 2p over the week to 61.33/t.

This compares with 184.12/t at this time last year, 81.81/t in 1998 and 56.67/t in 1997.