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 in the UK. With the chip-shop market being mostly closed, what is the impact on potato tonnages destined for this market?
At the end of January, AHDB forecasted 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.”
Eudall says this would leave a balance at mid-March of 188,576 tonnes.
This is the tonnage that AHDB estimates is now facing the issue of a closure of the majority of chip shops and lost demand.
Source: AHDB. Original report here