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Potato Weekly 15 May 2020

Friday, 15 May 2020

At a glance

  • Free-buy trade has reportedly levelled out for most of this week. There was an increase in demand for some packing varieties but in the other sectors, trade has remained steady.
  • Many growers experienced a colder snap earlier in the week, with frost particularly affecting plants in sheltered areas of fields. Irrigation schedules have also begun, with a lack of rainfall becoming a concern.
  • Lifting of early crops across Southern regions is well underway, with good yields reported. We will begin new-crop price reporting when more supplies become available. 

Alex Cook

Trainee Analyst

Market Commentary

Packing

  • Packing trade has steadied out this week, particularly for retail sectors that have settled into a ‘new norm’ in recent weeks. Some top quality supplies have been moving for delivery box jobs, which have increased significantly in popularity during the pandemic.
  • M Piper continues to see demand, with its well-recognised name attractive to consumers. Top quality supplies are moving for a premium, but can be difficult to source.
  • Prices for English Grade 1 packing ‘whites’ have declined this week, due to an increase in lower quality material in the sample. Much of this was chipping varieties moving for some packing jobs, where skin finish allowed.

Bags

  • After a couple weeks of growth in the bag trade, demand has steadied and is flat on the week.
  • There has been sustained chatter of more and more chip shops opening. Many are working through previously held and contracted supply, limiting demand for freebuy supplies.
  • For the chipping trade to reach the next level of growth, seaside outlets need to see further footfall. Currently, a lack of tourist movement to coastal regions is limiting sales in these areas.
  • Chipping prices have seen small declines from last week. Our end-March stocks data indicated an above average amount of chipping supplies remained in grower stores. As this large supply enters markets to lower demand levels, prices will remain pressured.

Processing

  • We have captured some slight demand for peeling M Piper this week. However, almost all movement in processing markets continue to be contracted. Processing markets are pressured over the short-term by the large level of stocks remaining in grower stores.

Exports

  • Trade into Ireland mostly consisted of repeat orders from last week. Some chipping material has begun to move across as more chip shops open throughout the Republic of Ireland and the UK. 

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