Potato prices should benefit from a smaller crop

Potato values are expected to improve thanks to a good quality, slightly smaller crop, says the British Potato Council.

The BPC’s Rob Burrow said about 70% of UK maincrop had been lifted by 7 Oct. “Generally good harvest conditions have seen crops going into store well, with little disease.

“This year’s planted area was down 3-4% at just under 126,000ha and yields are thought to be lower. With better quality in the crop, prices could well improve as the season goes on,” said Mr Burrow.

Prices have slipped in recent weeks from highs of £110-115/t, as harvest gathered pace.

The BPC weekly average price was £91.1/t midweek, about £12/t higher than the same time last year.

Production in the EU 15 is estimated to be about 42.3m tonnes, 12% down on last year, and about 8% down in the EU25.

“Prices between the UK and the Continent are likely to be more even this year, which should mean fewer imports,” said Mr Burrow.