Wet weather pushes up spud prices

By FWi staff

POTATO prices have improved recently following a delayed harvest due to the wet weather.

Prices have been easing since harvest started, with supplies exceeding demand in most areas. But wet weather has caused lifting delays recently, and increased storage has limited supplies.

The British Potato Council spot average price has risen by 4.44/t in the past two weeks, to 80.75/t excluding bags.

Demand is particularly strong for chipping and packing supplies, with best produce improving by 5-10/t in the past couple of weeks.

Lower grade samples are still difficult to place, with grade 2 Whites worth 25-50/t in bulk.

Harvesting conditions have been very poor in Northern Europe, and Amsterdam futures rocketed up 100/t in September, before falling back almost 80/t this month as weather improved, to 114/t.

“The weather in northern Europe has put more confidence into our market,” says BPCs market information manager, Rob Burrow.

Exports are going well, with processing and packing potatoes being shipped from the UK to Holland and Belgium.

Clearance in the UK is well ahead of last year, at 49%, while storage is also up on last year, due to the lower prices and potential for increases later in the season.

“Grounds for optimism are certainly there at the moment,” says Mr Burrow.

Seed is 80-90% harvested, and quality is better than first expected, both for seed and ware, although slow skin set and common scab has been a problem for packing varieties.

Maris Piper are worth 110-160/t in bulk in Southern England and Wales, while Northern/Scottish salad varieties are pegged at 150-250/t.


CLICK HERE to receive FWis FREE new weekly email newsletter, providing an instant link to all the major additions and updates relevant to your arable business.

See more