Potato prices rise after wet weather

Potato prices rose last week on reduced supply after wet conditions.

Rain in the week to Friday 25 October caused localised shortages and firmer prices but most of these eased back later in the week as lifting conditions improved, according to the Potato Council.

The GB weekly average price rose by £1.16/t to £135.08/t and the free-buy average increased by £1.69/t to £129.99/t. The percentage of free-buy trade that made up the sample was up very slightly on the previous week and accounted for the majority of movement in the sample.

In the same week in 2012, the weekly average was £195.96/t and the free-buy average was £263.77/t, with prices still rising.

Last week, lifting conditions and variable quality contributed to a range of prices in the packing sector. Supplies were reduced but rebalanced by the end of the week. Maris Pipers and King Edwards rose to £165/t and £205/t respectively.

The Potato Council Grower Panel Lifting Survey estimates that about 105,000ha of the GB crop had been cleared to 26 October. This estimate is 11,000ha more than the same week in 2012 (94,000ha, 78% clearance) but 20,000ha less than at the same point in 2011 (125,000ha, 98% clearance).

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