Cornish new potatoes drop 100/t in a week

By FWi staff

CORNISH new-potato growers face a further drop in prices, with reports that they have fallen to around 300/t, down at least 100 since the start of the week.

Growers are already far from happy with the lack of support from multiples and wholesalers, and have seen prices more than halve in the past fortnight.

Market analyst Peter Cooper of Potato Call blames the increased amount of high-quality old crop coming out of cold store, which is undermining the price of earlies.

Ex-farm prices are exactly 50% lower than this time last year.

“However, there now appears to be more stability in the new crop, and even though prices are lower than this time last year, the market is more settled.

“There are now signs that multiples besides Tesco are starting to show an interest.” Tesco has been involved from early on in the season.

“Despite delivered prices of Cornish potatoes being 10p less than Jerseys, the general consensus is that this is a fair price as traders always value Jerseys more than Cornish,” said Mr Cooper.

Lifting of Jerseys is well ahead of last year with 6159t lifted by 4 May, a rise of 14%.

So long as supply to the wholesale market is maintained, the resulting steady clearance should make way for new-crop from Pembroke and Kent.

These supplies are expected in the next couple of weeks.

In Kent, most open-ground crops of Rocket are at the early tuber stage, with the first area of covered crop expected to be ready by 21 May.

Most Maris Peers are still at the rosette stage, and open-ground maincrop Estima is stuck at 0-50% emergence.

In the Midlands, growth rates are further ahead, with the first area of covered Rocket expected to be ready in two weeks.

Most open-ground earlies are at tuber inititation with Nadine and Estima well emerged.

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