By FWi staff

DESPITE unsettled weather over the weekend potato harvesters have made good progress over the week and many producers have been in the field round the clock in an attempt to clear remaining crops.

The British Potato Council estimates about 15% of the UK crop is still to be cleared, compared with 35% in 1998.

Prices have remained relatively stable over the week, although poorer end material shows no indication of moving. Clean produce, on the other hand, is expected to strengthen into the New Year.

Grade 1 material is trading from £55/t, with the majority between £60-£80/t. Best Estima is at £85/t, and Edward and Piper are up to £100/t.

Grade 2 potatoes start at £20-£25/t, although the majority are selling at £30-£50/t.

Bag sales are slow at mainly £35-£40/t, with Piper at £60-£70/t up to an £100/t, noted the BPC in its weekly price report.

“Bulk packing and processing drifted slightly during last week before pressure on prices eased due to rain.”

On the back of this, the BPC weekly GB average slipped 36p to £70.18/t. This compares with £117.07/t last year and £64.87/t in 1997.