By FWi staff

WHILE new-season prices remain depressed, the recent hot weather is giving hope to maincrop producers that the later market wont go the same way.

Looking ahead, maincrop trading may not yet be as relaxed as first thought, noted the British Potato Council (BPC).

Optimistic traders say there could be some high prices by next April.

Late planting of maincrop, some indifferent seed beds in parts of the east and north, and localised flooding shortly after planting in the Midlands are factors the BPC believes could lift prices.

“Increased use of once-grown seed, problems with high humidity and the effects of the hot, dry spell” could also help.

The dry weather is also expected to affect yields and maincrop results are not expected to be as good as earlies.

In bulk, set-skin maincrops are dominating interest, fetching about £150/t spot.

For bagged material, interest is slower, with most attention focussed on chipping at £45-£80/t and poor loads at £25-£35/t. Loose-skin maincrop are averaging £50-£75/t.

The early season is now drawing to an end, with values stabilising slightly over the week.

The weekly early average price fell just £1.43 in the week to £54.58/t. This compares with £139.69/t last year and £49.03/t in 1997.