Supermarket boost for early potatoes

By FWi staff

INCREASED interest from supermarkets is set to boost the early crop market.

Despite prices and demand remaining static, earlies are beginning to attract more interest.

A significant increase to the supermarket trade is expected this week as more growers lift, according to the British Potato Councils Rob Burrow.

The maincrop trade has slowed, with growers preferring to plant rather than grade.

But planting continues to be a struggle, especially on heavier soils. Total planting isnt much over halfway.

By last Friday 73,293ha were in the ground, about halfway, compared with 115,558 a year ago.

Prices for top grades have firmed following a tightening of supply, and movement of other grades is holding up well.

Bulk grade 1 samples are trading between 50-70/t, and up to 20 more for Piper, Estima and selected whites.

In the east, Edward are up to 160/t, with Piper occasionally topping 190/t.

Grade 2 material is between 20-45/t for all varieties and bag sales range from 35-55/t up to between 60-90/t.

Best bag sales are as high as 40/t for Piper, with Estima topping 60/t and Edward 90/t.

Spot processing material ranges from as low as 10/t up to 40/t.

The high exchange rate continues to effect the export movement, which remains slow.

The weekly GB ex-farm average has edged up by 1.48 to 67.15/t.

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