By FWi staff

THE potato market was under less pressure this week, and sellers have once again started holding stocks back in an attempt to force prices up.

Demand for scarce supplies of quality potatoes pushed the weekly ex-farm average price up by £1.26 to £87.61/ tonne, according to the British Potato Council.

Poorer crops are more abundant and meeting lower demand, reports BPC Information Manager, Rob Burrow. Most potatoes are selling at £60-100/ tonne. But the overall price range remains wide at £30-240/ tonne.

Bulk material continues to attract most interest from buyers. Whites are fetching £70-90/ tonne, and the best Estima samples are making £120-165/ tonne.

Processing samples are widely available, with most demand being met by contact growers. But rust spot and inconsistent fry colour has led to some supplies being sourced on the spot market. Free price buys are “strong” at £60-75/ tonne for Piper.

Bagged loads, however, are “no crowd pullers,” Mr Burrow says. Maris Piper are making about around £80-100/ tonne, but whites are selling for as little as £40-70/ tonne.

Demand for ordinary wholesale supplies is also slow with prices as low as £2.00/ 25kg. That said, quality washed samples are making up to £5.30/ 25kg

The futures market has recovered from recent lows – at least for the time being. Although trade is thin, contracts at the close of trade yesterday (Monday) were worth £70/ tonne (June) and £60 (November).