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Potato Weekly 1 May 2020

Friday, 1 May 2020

At a glance

  • Free-buy trade this week has reportedly remained at similar levels to the previous week. Some have likened trade to historical averages for April, whilst others have continued to see muted demand dependent on sector. Demand across retail sectors has been reportedly steady.
  • There has continue to be small increases to chipping material demand in the bag market, although this is still at relatively small volumes. This increased movement comes as reportedly more chip shops open once again.
  • This week, growers have welcomed bouts of rainfall across the country as many approach the end of planting schedules. Further rainfall expected over the weekend will help to ease dryness concerns.
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Alex Cook

Trainee Analyst

Market Commentary

Packing

  • This week, the packing trade remains at ‘near to normal’ levels’ with a slight pick up in demand for the top quality supplies. Whites prices have eased slightly as more material is reportedly available. Some quality issues have been reported in M Piper samples, with prices increasing for best quality.
  • We have seen further chipping material go for packing jobs where possible this week. This is seen towards the low end of packing prices but will affect median prices. The supermarket trade has reportedly levelled out from the start of the month.

Bags

  • There are reports of more fish and chip shops opening this week. Those located in urban areas are reportedly busy as they are taking advantage of online take-out apps and websites.
  • However, this is not making up for the loss of trade from coastal areas, where a lot of outlets remain closed due to the current imposed national lockdown. This lack of tourist movement is having an effect on coastal areas.
  • While bag trade demand has nudged higher over recent weeks, it is key to remember that everything was closed at the start of April. Many stakeholders across the bag trade are still feeling the hit, with many reporting to be trading at less than 50% capacity, if at all.
  •  As lockdowns are eased, this sector should begin to see further demand as more outlets can viably open.

Processing

  • The near full closure of the food service industry continues to affect demand in the processing sector. Movement of material for peeling and mashing jobs have continued, using mainly lower quality material.

Export

  • Due to the sample size being too small this week, we have been unable to publish any export prices.
  • We have heard of light movement continuing to Ireland.

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