New crop demand helps support potato prices

Demand for new crop potatoes is improving, helping the Potato Council weekly average price to remain steady at £180.83/t in the week to 27 May. However, free-buy prices eased from £194.84/t last week to £188.83/t.

In the packing sector, new crop movement has been light, with supermarkets concentrating on old crop promotions and Jersey Royals, says the Potato Council’s weekly report. “However, there are now signs of movement increasing. Supply is mostly on contract, with free-buy prices at £300-400/t. Demand in Pembrokeshire has improved this week, although prices have eased with Lady Chrystl and Maris Peer wholecrop at £300/t, while limited Minerva are moving at £250/t, and a small amount of 42mm down Ingrid are £350/t.”

Demand in the bagged sector remains below expectations, resulting in further pressure on prices. In Cornwall, values are mainly at £160-200/t, with below 45mm Maris Peers still up to £450/t. “In the east, supplies are ample for a slow demand, with a downward price trend.”

Free-buy old crop supplies remain ample, with packers concentrating on clearing contracted produce. “The strongest interest is for good skin samples with high baker content. Ware trade is now very light with a steady demand for good quality, especially in the east,” the report says.

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