Potato Weekly - 22 January 2021

Friday, 22 January 2021

At a glance

  • Many sectors have not seen much pick-up in demand from the week previous. As retail markets work through remnants of Christmas stocks, there is hope some demand creation could be seen soon.
  • Export trade has seen some level of disruptions from the additional checks, though trade is continuing to Ireland and the Canary Islands.
  • Over the last few months, more fish and chip shops have signed up to popular takeaway websites in an attempt to capture additional footfall during the lockdown. Though demand is quiet in January, such steps could help businesses reach new customers.
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Alex Cook

Analyst Potatoes & Cereals and Oilseeds

Market Commentary


  • Retail packing markets have seen a steady level of demand, with some supermarkets still continuing on Christmas stock for some products. Supermarket demand has been strong during previous lockdowns, with the closure of food service outlets.
  • Demand on the whole for packing whites has been mainly covered on a contracted basis. Maris Piper has traded well, with demand persisting especially for top quality material.
  • Salad markets have seen quiet demand following a relatively busy run-up to Christmas. The next demand push could come once the weather warms and we move closer to Easter.
  • Demand for Reds continues, with supply relatively hard to come by at present. This is also seen for King Edwards, which have been able to achieve a high premium because of low availability.




  • Prices have generally remained stable this week.
  • Traded volumes are said to be fairly low though. Many fish and chip shops are opening for reduced hours due to lower footfall.
  • January is a notoriously quiet month in the bag trade, and there is hope that trade will pick up in the coming weeks.
  • Wholesale trade is also relatively slow, with most of the catering sector closed. Trade with farm shops is variable. Some reports suggested good footfall, others recording reduced sales with people less confident about being out of home.





  • Processing markets have been affected by school closures, with demand only coming from top-up volumes for contracts. However, some colleges and universities are providing hot meals for key workers and students.
  • Demand for Maris Piper continues, especially for ready meals and other processed products. There are reports of more material being available for markets.


  • Export material to Ireland is beginning to increase, as ports and exporters get to grips with documentation. Exports to the Canary Islands continue, with the process better than the first week of January. However, shipping is proving troublesome with boats arriving simultaneously.

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