The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) reports in its weekly potato update that demand at retail level remains strong, given that the majority of people are still working from home. The peeling market is beginning to show some life and there should be a significant lift in demand when restaurants re-open on June 29th.
Demand from packers is quite slow at present but this has more to do with using some of their own stocks then any major overhang of stocks in the market.
The early market remains very strong with prices averaging €1350/tonne. Most of the Homeguard has now been sold while most of the Premier will be moved by the end of the month. Queens have started this week; however major volumes are still some weeks away.
IFA says in its report that the Dept of Food, Agriculture and the Marine (DAFM) has released preliminary BPS area figures which show potato area similar to 2020. If yields take a hit from the drought this will leave production significantly below 2019.
The UK and Europe have gotten some rainfall in the past week, IFA reports. However, like in Ireland there is considerable variation on amounts in different areas. In the UK some areas of the country are still very dry, particularly the Midlands and South East, while in Belgium there has only been 5 to 8mm of rain with groundwater levels at historic lows.