Spuds drop by almost 30/t

By Olivia Cooper

AVERAGE potato prices fell by almost 30/t last week, according to the British Potato Council.

Increasing supplies amid low interest from the supermarkets caused prices to fall to an average of 132.36/t.

Demand for frying varieties has been particularly poor, as merchants were clearing their stocks while it is hot, delaying purchases until this week.

But chipping varieties are selling well in holiday destinations, with traders reporting “the best sales all year”.

Imports still feature heavily, mainly Premiere from Belgium and Germany at about 120/t bulk delivered. But use of new-crop from Devon is picking up, with Bard and Premiere fetching 120-140/t.

Movement is estimated to be 44% behind last year, says the BPC.

Crisping potatoes are in full production, with good quality and size. But yields of the later planted crops are low at 33-36t/ha (13-14.5t/ac), and growers are reporting that they are barely covering costs.

Demand for salad potatoes is strong, but high numbers of small tubers are a concern for processors, and are pressuring the price of small grades for packing, says Potato Call.

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