In the latest IFA potato market report published today, it is said that the market for the food service sector remains very flat as pubs and restaurants are slow to get going again. Retail demand has leveled off but remains positive. Most old season Rooster stock is now used up and merchants are seeking out any remaining stock.
The early market is holding quite well and lifting continues along the east coast, however, there are more reports this week that tuber numbers are down.
Exporters of seed from the U.K. to Europe are preparing to ensure that as much as possible is completed by the 31st December in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit.
Early plantings which are being lifted are showing a trend for low tuber count and bold tubers. Buyers in the fresh sector which includes salads and ware are warning growers to take extreme care to avoid oversize as there is currently “no” market outlet for these grades.
The NEPG expect the EU crop to be slightly higher this year. Plantings have increased by around 0.5%. A significant increase is expected in Poland, but a small decrease in Spain is predicted. If yields are at the 5-year average, production could increase by 4.2%, but the weather will be the determining factor. Many areas are reporting lower tuber numbers this year, and this could yet be significant.