Potato Prices & Commentary

Each week the IFA compiles prices paid or quoted to its members nationwide. Take a look at the latest report below.

October 14, 2020

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €350 €400 €380
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €4 €5 €4.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag €5 €7 €6
New Season Kerr Pinks €5 €6 €5.50

 

Liftings continue this week following a reasonably dry few days. There are continued reports that yields are below average especially in areas that were affected by drought earlier in the year. Trade remains quite disturbed as the prospect of additional lockdown measures loom. As it stands, growers supplying the food service sector have had one of the worst years on record. Trade for Kerr Pinks is holding steady and quality is reported as very good.

In the U.K. continued uncertainty from lockdown pressures has hampered trade in both the bags and processing sectors. Prices remain largely unchanged but prices are below the average prices for this time last year. Heavy rainfall has hindered lifting over the past week and progress has been significantly impacted in some areas as a result.

In Europe heavy rain has arrived and lifting has ground to a halt in many areas of Northern Europe, although lightest soils in Holland are still workable. Clearance for storage is estimated at 10% in Belgium, 20 to 30% in Holland, 30 to 40% in France and 50% + in Germany. Production in processing factories is estimated at 85 to 90% of pre Covid levels.

October 7, 2020

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €380 €430 €400
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €4 €5 €4.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag €5 €7 €6
New Season Kerr Pinks €5 €6 €5.50

As wet weather conditions set in across the country, growers face additional challenges and liftings will be set back in some areas. Lifting of maincrop Rooster is progressing well in areas that received less rainfall such as the south west but reports indicate that yields are below average. Clearance is around 30% complete. Retail demand remains quite strong, however, the food service sector has experienced another blow as stricter lockdown measures are imposed across the entire country.

In the U.K. trade remains generally subdued. Packing Maris Piper seems to be the only material making any kind of traction. Liftings are reported to be continuing at pace, with growers trying to get some complete in the next week. Clearance is 50-75% in the South and the Midlands, with more growers starting to clear, but in the Fens and Lincolnshire progress is only 20-30%. In Scotland, lifting of ware crops is “60%” complete.

Recent estimates show that the total production in the E.U.27 is expected to be 54.8mt’s compared to 51.23mt’s last year and 56.38mt’s in 2017. Physical markets across Europe remain broadly unchanged with processors still only taking very light volumes of free buy material.

September 30, 2020

 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

 

  Low High Average
Rooster box (New Season) €380 €430 €400
Rooster 10 kg (New Season) €4 €5 €4.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag €5 €7 €6
New Season Kerr Pinks €5.50 €6.50 €6

 

Although weather conditions have improved growers are facing additional setbacks due to reduced yields and skin set issues. Reports from growers suggest that main-crop yields are well below average this year. Poor skin set appears to be a problem for a lot of growers and some growers have halted liftings due to this problem. The food service sector remains under significant pressure as more counties face level three restrictions.

New restrictions in the U.K. have muted confidence and procurement for potatoes is on a weekly basis, as people sit tight to see how these new measures affect demand. Many growers are lifting into stores due to the depressed market.

Across Europe dry soils continue to slow up harvesting progress but physical markets in the processing sector remain very quiet. There are reports that early sprouting has been seen in some stores.

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