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Retail potato trade remains strong in Ireland, but processing sector at a standstill

In the latest Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Potato Market Report, it is said that the retail trade remains strong albeit slightly erratic following the Easter break.

The processing sector remains at a standstill although more restaurants are opening on a ‘take-away’ basis following the announcement of further restrictions.

Growers report that stocks of Kerr Pinks are very tight as demand remains high. Plantings continue at pace across the country, there are reports that rainfall would be appreciated in the East of the country following a lengthy period of dry weather.

The IFA reports that in the U.K, the market situation remains much unchanged once again, retail demand is described as generally flat with a slight decrease on previous highs. There are reports that take-aways are looking to re-open and offer pre-ordering systems similar to the situation here.

The AHDB has calculated that there are 188,576 tonnes of frying potatoes left in growers’ stores and destined for Fish and Chip shops. Some growers are hesitant about planting their intended area with the uncertainty of market availability that currently stands.

Across Europe the fallout in the processing industry continues. There is limited export for Eastern Europe but these markets are becoming very competitive as processors, growers and merchants in Western Europe attempt to unload stocks.

Buyers in the East are holding back and waiting for prices to settle. The only option for many sellers is the starch industry where prices are very low. The fresh markets are holding steady however there are now signs that some stores are using processing varieties in cheaper packs.

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

Rooster box€330€380€350
Rooster10 kg bag€3.30€4.00€3.50
Whites box€320€370€350
K Pinks 10kg bag€4.20€5.00€4.50
Golden Wonder 10kg bag€5.00€6.00€5.50

Source: IFA

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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