Prices steady in poor lifting weather

By FWi Staff

UNSETTLED weather this week has continued to affect lifting, although prices have remained steady as the traditional late summer lull in demand kicks in.

Bottom prices are from £50 for poor processing samples but go as high as £220 per tonne for excellent bold packing material. Most deals are £110-£150/t.

The overall average price is down £6/t this week. “There is an annual dip in prices at this time of year as growers prepare to move crops into store,” said Rob Burrow of The British Potato Council. So far, 1000 hectares have been put into store, although 40-50% of this is seed potatoes in Scotland.

“Farmers need a dry period to start moving potatoes into store at the moment. When in store, demand should pick up again and we will see a recovery in prices. The slight fall seen last week should only be a short term lull which wont last,” said Mr Burrow.

Bulk packer demand remains steady for good repeat loads, but there is little interest in poor quality. Grade 2 prices start at £80 with most varieties reaching £110-£130. Grade 1 are mainly £140-£180 although best prices can reach £220.

Quality fryers in bags are in best demand. Poor quality whites start at £80 but can go as high as £130 with frying Piper ranging between £140-£160. Best reds can take as high as £170. Salad varieties vary between £230-£250 and washed material £160-£180/t.

The British Potato Council weekly GB ex-farm average price slipped £5.99 to £128.39/t. This compares with £61.34 in 1997, and £57.38 in 1996. The ware averaged eased to £139.44 this week compared with £54.72 in 1997.

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