By FWi staff

MAINCROP potatoes slipped over the week as interest turned towards new-season produce.

Average-quality stock is attracting slow interest, while poor stocks are no longer wanted, noted the British Potato Council (BPC).

Packers appear to have adequate stocks committed, although they remain keen on produce with a high baking content.

Trade is being swamped by lower-grade stocks, which has caused a detrimental effect on prices, said a spokesman from the BPC.

“The lower end of the market was under stress, with sharp falls of £20/t in some cases,” he added.

Grade 2 potatoes have weakened, with poor samples starting at £80/t, while most are between £120-£170/t.

Despite the recent downward trend, bulk grade 1 potatoes have remained firm trading at £180-£200/t, with good packers between £220-£280/t. Some top samples are as high as £320/t.

The quality bag market remains steady, while other material has weakened, with poor Piper starting from £100/t.Better samples are £160-£190/t, with top material between £200-£225/t.

Like Piper Estima are from £100/t, with mid range produce at £140-£160/t. Other material is between £160-£190/t, with top samples at £225/t for best reds. However, poor loads can be as low as £80/t.

The London futures market slipped further over the week, with May 1999 contracts closing at £125/t at the end of the week. April 2000 prices slumped to £97/t.

The BPC weekly GB ex-farm average continued its downward trend, dropping a further £1.32 to £170.27/t.

  • Closing prices at LIFFE