By FWi staff

THE potato market has remained relatively unchanged this week as old-crop stores continue to be cleared very at a fast pace.

“Some merchants have finished with 1998 crop,” said one merchant. But the final poor samples have are going for stockfeed, silage or to peelers, he added.

At the other end of the market best bakers continue to make £180/t with best washed samples in the north-west at £240/t, noted the British Potato Council (BPC).

Despite a greater number of new potatoes entering the market reports that growers have stopped lifting on the back of the low prices are ever increasing.

Recent price falls have slowed as new potato values become slightly steadier. But prices are still at their lowest July levels since 1990, when an average of £68.70/t was recorded – and even that value is equivalent to £86/t in todays terms.

Values in Cornwall are at £30-£55/t for bags and £35-£90/t bulk. In Pembroke, the trade is slightly better, with bags at £45-£50/t, chipping at £60-£70/t and bulk at £40-£65/t.

In Kent, prices start from £50-£70/t bags up to £70-£100/t for chipping. Bulk is a little lower between £55-£80/t.

In Suffolk/Essex, producers are getting £50£90/t, bulk are £50-£90/t, while small sizes are higher fetching as much as £160/t.

Shropshire prices are £40-£80/t, and in Cheshire they range between £60-£80/t. In Lincolnshire, values are £40-£90/t and in south-west Scotland, between £70-£90/t.

Despite the current low prices, futures traders were feeling more optimistic as November ’99 contracts attempted a recovery from last weeks lows, inching up slightly to £52/t in London last Friday. April 2000 contracts were also up £2 at £75/t at the end of last week.

In Amsterdam, April 2000 trading is stable and closed at £75/t at the end of last week.

  • Closing prices at LIFFE