Potato Weekly - 20 November 2020

Friday, 20 November 2020

At a glance

  • Free-buy markets experienced a downturn in trade this week, with most overall demand met by contracted material.
  • Markets have seen demand dampened by the coronavirus pandemic, with Christmas parties this year restricted by government guidelines.
  • Chipping markets have seen demand hit by the wetter weather, seasonal declines and reduced footfall amid lockdown measures, with competition from other takeaway restaurants.
  • Persistent wet weather has paused lifting for some still clearing, particularly pockets of the East, Northern regions and some Scottish areas.
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Alex Cook

Analyst Potatoes & Cereals and Oilseeds


  • Packing for retail seems to have found its demand level for the lockdown so far, not changing week-on-week.
  • Maris Piper continues to receive a premium above other varieties, with prices holding firm from last week. Demand has been seen for this variety ahead of most other whites.
  • There has been reports of some tonnages moving between stores ahead of the Christmas demand, with best quality a key factor in this.
  • Demand for reds is firming, with prices strengthening slightly from the previous week.
  • Demand for salads has been relatively muted with the exception of absolute best quality supplies. The closure of ‘sit-down’ meal occasions is a factor.



  • Most chip shop trade orders have been on a repeat basis from last week, with prices unchanged. The wetter weather has reportedly had an impact on footfall levels to some fish and chip shops. Seasonal downturn for demand continues.
  • There were anecdotal reports of some better demand from Wales, following the end of the ‘fire-break’ lockdown. Some suggest this could be an element of restocking rather than a solid level of demand.
  • As a result of the poorer demand levels reported across the West, we are unable to publish variety specific prices this week and instead have included a ‘whites’ price.
  • Some quality issues have been reported where supplies have been lifted wet and stored; some skin blemish issues appearing in a small number of Maris Piper samples.




  • The processing trade has seen quieter levels of demand, with free-buy prices declining slightly from last week. Much of this demand is able to be met using contracted supplies.
  • An increase in freshly lifted supplies moving off the field straight to peeling markets was reported, with storage a risk for quality.
  • Retail demand for processing supplies seems to have found its level over recent weeks, with no movements in demand.


  • We are unable to publish export prices this week, due to data thresholds unable to be met.
  • Despite this, anecdotal reports suggest export movement continues to occur to the Canary Islands in steady volumes.

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