Potato prices continue to rise as more new crop supplies come to the market. The Potato Council’s GB weekly average old crop price to 25 May increased by £1.88/t to £133.83/t, £47 below the same time last year. Free market trade also improved, rising by £3.62/t to £108.29/t, £81 lower than last year.
“Packing demand for new crop has increased in response to the improved weather,” said the council’s latest report. “The main growers in Cornwall were working at full capacity to satisfy demand; most moved on contract, with limited free-buy at £500-550/t.”
In Pembrokeshire, Minerva and Rocket were fetching £400-450/t in bags. “Cheshire supplies were very limited and included Maris Bard and Rocket selling at £1,200-1,320/t. Token lifting of Epicure took place in south-west Scotland for £1,400/t.”
Old crop prices had also improved, particularly for white varieties, with many packers forward buying blocks to cover the prospect of an extended trading season. Grade one whites ranged from £140 to £200, with general pack at £90-120/t.
Planting progress was good, with the warm weather enhancing crop growth. “In the west many of the earliest planted fields have been cleared. Follow-on open ground crops have poor yields, and are being left to bulk.”