Spud prices rise as supplies are tight


By FWi staff

WITH supplies remaining tight, prices continued to rise last week in most regions across England.


Buyers had previously resisted increases, while building up stocks.


However, with movement of quality potatoes restricted off the field, early unloading of stores had to be encouraged by buyers, reports the British Potato Council.


But the BPC comments that not all growers are experiencing improved prices for quality samples. “A sizeable volume of muddy, suspect potatoes came to market from 45-70/t.”


Total clearance to 10 November stands at 108,264ha, 75% of the total, compared with 141,571ha in 1999. And as well as imports for processing, some traders are already supplementing bag and bulk supplies with Belgium and German potatoes, says the BPC.


Imports of ware potatoes totalled 55,073t on 3 November, compared with 9370t a year ago.


In East Anglia and Lincolnshire bulk whites are mainly 95-160/t, up to 195/t for best Estima and 170/t for Edward and Maris Piper.


Reds are fetching up to 200/t, grade 2 samples from 45/t. Bags are worth up to 170/t for best Edward, reds 95-140/t.


Bulk whites in the south and Wales are mainly 100-140/t, 150/t for Desiree. Bagged whites are fetching 90-100/t, reds 85-140/t.


In the Midlands, bulk whites are worth 130-180/t, grade 2 samples 80-120/t. Bags are mostly 70-100/t, up to 120/t for Maris Piper.


Prices in the north are slightly lower with bulk whites mainly 80-100/t, up to 150/t for best Cara. Reds are fetching 90-130/t.


Bagged whites are mostly 70-90/t, up to 140/t for best Maris Piper.


In Scotland, bulk whites are mainly 80-105/t, up to 140/t for Edward. Bagged whites are fetching 75-90/t.


The BPC weekly GB ex-farm average price rose 6.61 to 96.1/t, compared with 61.13/t last year.


When all contract prices were removed the spot average price increased by 9.76 to 102.21/t, excluding bags.


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