By FWi staff
THE first estimate of total planting area for the 2000 crop season was published by the British Potato Council last Friday (21 July).
The figure is 149,249 hectares, 4.1% less than in 1999. It is also below the four year average (1996-1999) of 150,199 ha.
This is in line with predictions and is likely to give further confidence to the trading season ahead.
Earlies prices have remained steady throughout the last week and demand is continuing to pick up, with lifting already ahead of last year.
In Cornwall, volumes are reducing. Bags and bulk maincrop material are mainly 80-100/t up to 120/t. Wholecrop loose bakers are fetching 180/t, semi-set 280/t.
In Pembroke, local sales of chippers are fetching 125/t, with bags up to 100-120/t for best. Bulk samples of Peer and Nadine are worth 110-115/t, with baker samples 160-180/t, up to 200/t for first set skin Marfona. Charlotte are mainly 100-130/t up to 300/t where 60% are below 40mm.
Prices in Kent are slightly higher, with bags mostly 130-140/t. Bulk packing loads are steady, mainly 120-150/t up to 200-240/t for Marfona and Estima with high baker content.
Bulk packing samples in Lincolnshire are up to 190-200/t for 60mm+ bakers. Bags are 150/t for best Bard and limited volumes of Piper.
In Suffolk and Essex bags are 110/t up to 180/t for top chippers. Loose skin bakers are fetching up to 240/t for best. Salads are from 120/t with small Charlotte as much as 250/t.
In the Midlands, chipping material is worth between 100-130/t depending on variety. Best bulk samples are worth 200/t for best, with Charlotte 120-130/t.
The BPC weekly GB average dipped 2.75/t last week to 132.53/t.