Quantifying the impact of chip-shop closures

Monday, 6 April 2020

Over the past 3 weeks we have seen the sudden and drastic closure of the vast majority of demand for chipping and bagged potatoes for foodservice markets.

With the chip-shop market being mostly closed, what is the impact on potato tonnages destined for this market?

In order to quantify this, we need to look into the stocks figures published on our website. At the end of January, we forecast that on-farm stocks of the Bags/Fresh Chipping sector stood at 308,889 tonnes.

Using the average January to March drawdown rate from recent years, we estimated that 20,052 tonnes of potatoes is taken from stores on a weekly basis during this period.

As such, if we take a 6 week total, to take us from the end of January to Mid-March (pre-lockdown) we can estimate that 120,313 tonnes of material was taken from farmer stores.

This would leave a balance at mid-March of 188,576 tonnes. This is the tonnage that we estimate is now facing the issue of a closure of the majority of chip shops and lost demand.

David Eudall

Head of Market Specialists (Arable)

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