Potato Weekly - 05 June 2020

Friday, 5 June 2020

At a glance

  • Demand remains strong for good quality M Piper in the packing sector, but demand for whites seems to have died off a bit.
  • The chipping sector has plateaued over the past few weeks, with demand remaining subdued due to lack of footfall.
  • Parts of the UK experienced some welcome rainfall this week. Forecasts suggest further rainfall is due over the coming days, which will help to ease dryness concern temporarily.
  • Lifting of Earlies is going well, but demand remains slow for new crop with a lack of food service and lockdown affecting shopper activity.
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Alice Bailey

Senior Analyst Potatoes

Market Commentary

Earlies

  • Early lifting of M Peer seems to be mostly under contract, but there has been reports of lifting for the bag trade.
  • Prices vary from £20-£25 per 25kg bag of early potatoes from the Cambridgeshire area.
  • In the South, free-buy trade of early M Peer and Rocket is reaching up to £800/t.
  • Similar prices are seen in the West for Rocket.
  • Reports suggest some of the early chipping material, such as Accord, got pushed back by the frost and is potentially 3 weeks away from lifting. Some good rain on the warmed soils could help boost this though.

Packing

  • Demand for top quality M Piper remains strong as material fitting this spec appears harder to find.
  • Reports suggest that demand for whites has tailed off somewhat, with contracts mostly covering this requirement. The recent warm weather seems to have lessened some retail demand.
  • Good demand for veg delivery boxes is seemingly continuing, with repeat orders each week.

Bags

  • Trade in the bags markets has mostly plateaued after the initial rise in demand some weeks back.
  • Coastal areas saw a slight uptick in trade last weekend amidst the sunny weather, but the reopening of many quick-serve restaurants has taken some custom from chip shops in towns and cities.
  • This cooler weather won’t help the seaside trade, which is sorely missed in the chipping sector. There was hope with lockdown measures easing, tourist numbers could start to pick up again.

Processing

  • Demand in the processing sector is primarily covered by contracts this week.
  • The recent need for peeling material on the free-buy market seems to have dropped back again this week.

Exports

  • There is still some movement of packing and chipping material heading into both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This is however, at relatively low volumes.

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