Potato prices strengthen as old crop gets harder to source

Potato prices have firmed sharply over the past week, as old crop supplies become harder to source and new crop availability remains limited.

The AHDB weekly average price for the 2014 crop jumped by £10.63/t, to £164.29/t in the week to 26 June, while the free-buy average soared by £20.45/t to £142.33/t.

“Packers concentrated on moving contracted or committed stocks supplemented by limited free-buy supplies which were becoming harder to source,” said the report.

“Some were utilising Scottish supplies to cover requirements.”

In the bagged sector, stocks were clearing in most areas leaving traders reliant on the eastern counties for samples with good frying qualities, together with limited new crop supplies.

The delayed harvest meant it was not just old crop trade that had improved.

The EEX European processing futures gained £32.57/t in the week to 26 June, to £157.42/t for November.

New crop growth was two to three weeks later than normal, with the cool dry weather slowing bulking and necessitating extensive irrigation, added the report.

“Some Lincolnshire growers were considering lifting within the next week depending on market conditions.

“Reported yields in crops being lifted are 27-33t/ha for Maris Bard, and Maris Peer at 22t/ha.”

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