Spud market is off the boil;

Tuesday, 10 March, 1998

by FWi staff

DEMAND for average and poor quality potatoes is “off the boil,” says one merchant quoted in the British Potato Councils market report this week.

Bulk deals are continuing to trade steadily and the wholesale market has slowed, reports BPC information manager, Rob Burrow.

Demand for better quality stocks is continuing to support the rest of the market, Mr Burrow adds. Price gaps remain wide, ranging from £30/ tonne for poor stocks to £250/ tonne for top quality supplies.

Quality pre-packing and frying samples are fetching £150-200/ tonne. But unwashed material is making only £40-80/ tonne. The worst quality peeler potatoes are selling for little more than £30/ tonne.

Futures contracts have rallied slightly since Friday, however. At the close of trade yesterday, LIFFE prices closed at £62/ tonne (April), £68 (May), £81 (June) and £58 (November).

But the BPC weekly average price trend has fallen 35p to £81.46/ tonne. Although the quality end of the market continues to attract optimism, most traders feel that the price of average material will show little change from recent levels, Mr Burrow concludes.

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