Market report: Potato prices continue to improve

Free market potato prices continue to rise amid strong demand for good quality and export supplies.

Potato Council’s free-market average increased by £1.64/t in the week to 4 February, to £182.38/t – the third straight week of price rises, putting the average £8.15/t ahead of w/e 14 January, and £95.32/t above the same time last year. However, the GB weekly average price dipped by £2.93/t, to £162.84/t, as movement of contracted material increased.

“Strong demand for export supplies continues to place pressure on the availability of

packing material, particularly where buyers are looking to supplement contract arrangements,” said the council’s Potato Weekly report. “As a result, the lower end of the market is continuing to see price increases with value pack material continuing to attract upward prices.”

With many stores of best bold material still to be opened, grower confidence continued to strengthen.

In the bagged market, ware trade was steady, although improved demand for good-quality samples was driving price ranges wider, said the report. Chipping demand was slow, with buyers resisting efforts by growers to boost prices. In Scotland, bulk export sales were accounting for most of the trade, reducing availability for the bagged sector.

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