Coronavirus continues to impede on demand across all sectors in the British potato industry, with mixed reviews on what the effect the reopening of pubs and restaurants will have, according to Alice Bailey, Senior Analyst at AHDB.
She writes in the latest Potato Weekly report that many old-crop contracts are being cleared up in the packing market, and new-crop potato demand is also covered mostly on contract.
Wet weather has continued to green crops up, but blight is becoming a concern for some due to showery, warm conditions. Increased lifting of Accord for the chipping market has been reported this week, although many crops are still a little immature. Most reports suggest that yields of Accord are down, with lower tuber numbers the cause.
Competition in the chipping trade is tough, as more new-crop is lifted and fresh chip demand remains stagnant. There is a slight increase in Maris Peer available on the free-buy market this week, but demand is lacking a touch.
Old-crop processing contracts are still being utilised wherever possible, limiting the demand for free-buy supply. Until food-service and catering returns to normal, this is likely to be a continued theme. Unfortunately in the short to medium term these demand corridors are unlikely to return to normal, but will hopefully move in the right direction.