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British potato market: Demand across the board ‘relatively lacklustre’

Demand across the board is reported as relatively lacklustre, despite England coming out of lockdown and going into a tiered system, reports AHDB market analyst Anthony Speight in this week’s issue of Potato Weekly.

Anthony writes that contract trade is said to be fulfilling the majority of pre-Christmas demand for the moment. As storage treatments change this year, growers are reportedly capitalising on sales where possible to allay potential storage challenges. There are some anecdotal reports of storage breakdowns appearing.

The Potato Weekly report in summary:

Packing

  • Packing trade remains relatively stand on for the week. Top quality Maris Piper continues to fetch a premium over other whites.
  • Some opportunities for free-buy trade are reported, where top-up loads are required to supplement contracted movement.
  • Movement of Scottish material into England is seen this week, particularly for best quality samples.
  • There is hope for increases in demand as we progress closer to Christmas, with a potential for increased meal occasions as customers opt to remain at home in ‘social bubbles’.

Bags

  • There is lacklustre demand currently within the bag trade. Movement on the free-buy market is reportedly quiet, with some customers ‘restocking’ following the end of the English lockdown.
  • With tiered lockdown measures to be reviewed on 16 December, there could be a change in the number of food service outlets operating, which could support Christmas trade levels.

Processing

  • Much of the processing requirement has been fulfilled on contract this week. Food service is still quoted as very quiet, even in the build up to Christmas. With the majority of England under a high degree of lockdown, this is perhaps unsurprising.
  • Maris Piper has featured often in processing trade this week, with a range of quality on offer.

Exports

  • Exports remains firm. We have had reports this week of exports to Belgium, Ireland and the Canaries.
  • Top quality and bold skin finished King Edward are fetching a premium.

Click here for this week’s Potato Weekly

Source: AHDB

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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