Holiday spud trade stays stable

PRICES remained steady throughout last week, despite the quiet holiday period.

The lack of set skin material continues to attract premium prices and loose skin samples have eased slightly in an attempt to maintain movement.

Lifting is progressing well with total clearance 15,783ha last Friday (August 18), compared with 14,249ha in 1999. Bulking rates are slow, particularly in late planted crops which is reflected in the large yield variation. Average yield is 37-42t/ha.

In East Anglia and Lincolnshire, best bulk Edwards are fetching 240-270/t with other reds worth up to 250/t. Whites are from 150/t with best Piper 240/t. Average produce is mainly 120-135/t. Bag material is mainly 90-130/t, with best chipping Piper up to 160/t.

In the South, Midlands and Wales, bulk set skin samples are mainly 180-210/t, with the odd 240/t for good baker content. Some reds are fetching 200/t with best salad varieties worth 250/t. Average loose skin samples are up to 140/t, 160/t for Estima. Bag samples are mainly 90-120/t up to 140/t for chippers and the odd Piper.

Bulk whites in the North are fetching 110-150/t up to 250/t for high baker samples in the north west. Bag whites are mainly 110-125/t up to 140/t for best Piper.

In Scotland, bulk loose skinned samples are fetching from 100-130/t for Javelin, up to 180-220/t for set skin, high baker content samples.

The BPC weekly GB ex farm average eased again last week by 1.47/t to 127.19/t (excluding bags). This compares with 77.19/t last year.

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