Potato price gap widens as frost is forecast

By FWi Staff

POTATO spot prices dropped £23/t between August and the end of September. However, the physical market remained steady throughout October, noted the British Potato Council.

Prices vary dramatically, ranging between £50-£200/t with most samples between £100-£150. This range has been created by loading pressure for poor and suspect storage material, while small volumes of best frying and packing produce continue to increase demand, said a spokesman from the BPC.

Possible frosts over the coming week could increase the price gap even further. The BPC suggests that prices later in the season could get worse for poor samples and increase for best material.

Bakers and clean packing samples are in good demand with top prices up to £200/t. However, most grade 1 potatoes range between £130-£160/t with value pack material between £80-£120/t. Poor material is going for as little as £70/t.

Demand for frying samples continues to rally the bag trade. Prices for Piper start at £80/t, although the quality end has strengthened at £100-£130/t. Best samples can fetch £160/t.

Most other varieties are between £90-£120. Reds are at £160/t while Edward fetch up to £175/t. Ex farm washed material are £120-£190/t.

Futures markets continued to do well last week fuelled by the wet weather conditions. April 1999 contracts finished up at £270/t in London at the end of the week and £234/t in Amsterdam.

The BPC GB ex-farm average inched up £1.39 to £118.46/t compared with £64.87 in 1997, and £57.86 in 1996. The ware only average firmed at £130.23

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