By FWi staff

GOOD weather over the weekend meant good progress with planting, and a few harvesters were seen salvaging the remains of old crop.

First early varieties are pretty well finished, about 10 days later than last year, noted a spokesman from the British Potato Council.

“If last nights rain clears quickly and more breezy, sunny weather continues this week, we could see total planting well over 50% completed by the weekend,” he added.

But the price gap remains high as with continued pressure on the average material.

Grade 1 bulk material is strong with prices starting at £170/t. Most are trading between £180-£240/t, with best samples fetching £280/t.

Strong demand for Estima, Marfona, Nadine and Piper is fetching prices of £300/t.

Grade 2 samples are weaker at £80-£100/t, although most value pack is between £120-£170/t.

Bagged chipping Piper maintains firm interest, starting at £140/t but fetching £260/t for best material, notes the BPC. Poorer samples, however, are at £120/t.

Reds are selling between £130-£160/t, with some varieties at £280/t. Poorer samples start at just £80/t.

The spot processing market has steadied, with chipping between £100-£150/t and best Piper at £170/t.

Demand for crispers is not so strong, with prices between £100-£130/t. Poor loads to peeling are weaker, starting from £60/t.

With an increase in land work, values have steadied slightly. The BPC weekly GB ex-farm average inched up over the week by £1.27 to £175.46/t. This compares with £89.26/t last year and £55.86/t in 1997.

Despite a firmer market, the ware average eased further, falling £1.22 to £179.97/t.

Futures have remained steady, with May contracts closing in London on Friday at £255/t, and in Amsterdam at £205/t.

  • Closing London futures prices