Spuds gain from poor weather, low quality

By FWi staff

RECENT floods and poor quality supplies helped push potato prices higher last week.

The average weekly price trend climbed £1.01 to end £90.27/ tonne, according to British Potato Council figures. This compares with £56.25 in the for the same week last year and £134.43 in 1996.

Floods across central England delayed planting and only 1,388 hectares were completed during a week when fieldwork on many farms was impossible. Less than 40,000 hectares have been planted so far this season, compared with more than 115,000 hectares this time last year.

A lack of better-quality in-store potatoes is also helping to drive up prices. Baking potatoes are in especially short supply, reports Rob Burrow, BPC information manager.

Prices show a firmer trend but a wide range remains from £20-£250/ tonne, Mr Burrow says.

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