Potato Weekly - 17 July 2020

Friday, 17 July 2020

At a glance

  • This week, we have seen a greater transition into new-crop as more supply becomes available. Old-crop movement has fallen away and mostly remains for either premium packing markets or processing jobs.
  • Much of the overall movement in the potato trade this week has been new-crop contracted supply. As such, demand for free-buy has been relatively muted and so supplies continue to be lifted into stores.
  • With hotel and restaurant trade still lagging, demand for these markets will look to August for support. From 3 August, the government ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will open and cover a 50% discount for restaurant meals to encourage consumer demand.
  • A clearer weather forecast for the next few days should help lifting pace which was somewhat affected by the wetter weather last week.

Alex Cook

Analyst

Market Commentary

New-crop Packing

  • New-crop has accounted for much of the movement in packing markets this week. There were more reports of purchasers transitioning into the new-crop as planned.
  • Salad movement has been mainly contracted, with a relatively quiet free-buy demand limiting further movement. With very little set skin supply yet, movement should look to pick up once this process has occurred.
  • Many growers have burnt off required crops and so continue lifting at pace.
  • A large degree of price pressure is seen this week as demand remains at muted levels, coupled with increased reports of lifting.
  • Packing prices this week vary depending on end market. Many new-crop varieties have been moving for supermarket jobs as good old-crop packing material is difficult to source.

Old-crop Packing

  • Old-crop free-buy movement has been quite scarce in the sample captured this week. This is largely due to a lot of the packing demand met by new-crop contracted movement. The sample this week is unable to be published due to the low number of prices recorded.​​​​​​​
  • Old-crop availability is fairly limited for packing markets which has been a feature of recent weeks. Supplies of top-quality have been difficult to source in volume, especially for some varieties including Maris Piper. Prices for these as a result have remained strong in recent weeks.

Bags

  • Trade this week has been described as weak. Demand has eased off quite a bit, needing support to get things moving again. Fish and chip shop trade has reportedly stood still from last week.
  • Much of the trade this week has favoured the new-crop, which is in relatively plentiful supply at the moment as lifting is underway for many growers. Reportedly D.M yields are improving, with more supplies being lifted this could offer some pressure.
  • Though the nation has opened food service outlets, consumer confidence has been much slower to return to normal, with many reluctant to venture out during the pandemic. This has left demand quite lacklustre for the chipping trade. Further to that, poor weather has not helped the situation. A lack of summer tourist footfall for coastal regions is pressuring too.
  • There has been very little movement of old-crop potatoes in bag markets. Nearly all old-crop supplies are moving into either processing or packing markets, dependant on quality.

Processing

  • Old-crop potatoes entirely made up the movement recorded in the sample this week for processing markets. This is likely due to the workable quality and subsequent price available.
  • Old-crop movement will continue for the near future due to the large availability of these supplies.

Exports

  • No export movement was captured in this weeks sample. Anecdotal reports suggest exports will pick up towards the start of August.

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