Potato Weekly - 14 August 2020

Friday, 14 August 2020

At a glance

  • Free-buy markets are still somewhat pressured this week, reduced trade is harming price coverage as free-buy markets aren’t operating at their normal tonnages.
  • HMRC data shows some increased support for the foodservice sector since the introduction of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. However, this increased demand is yet to be realised within the domestic potato market.
  • The long dry period has generally ended across the UK, with heavy downpours in many regions. Although helping to replenish parched soils, new issues may be presented.
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Charlie Reeve

Trainee Analyst

 Packing

  • New-crop potatoes are now being lifted in many regions around the UK, which is creating increased supply. This increased supply, alongside limited demand is negatively pressuring prices.
  • Contracted sales still account for most of the trade within the packing market this week, with free-buy demand subdued.
  • Reports suggest some growers unwilling to sell at such low prices, limiting the amount of trade taking place.
  • As a result of limited free-buy demand we have received a reduced number of quotes for the English packing market this week, so are unable to publish prices.

Bags

  • “Staycations” are offering some support to coastal trade, although trade still very limited in many central regions.
  • Talk within market of ‘full price’ chip shop takeaway options become secondary choice to ‘half price’ eat-out alternatives, especially during the first half of the week.
  • With lifting underway, supply continues to outstrip demand.  

Processing

  • Overall processing demand for free-buy material remains weak despite some reports of increased demand for french fries. It’s likely that this increase is still being met by contracts.
  • Small volumes of Maris Piper trade continue, at a premium to general whites.

Exports

  • Oversupply of potatoes on the continent is limiting export opportunities, but there have been some reports of exports to Belgium.
  • Exports to the Canary Islands are happening, but generally in reduced volumes as the coronavirus pandemic weighs on the tourism sector.
  • We also received some reports for exports to Ireland, although minimal volumes mean we are unable to report a price.

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