According to the Irish Farmers Association Association (IFA), rising Covid-19 numbers are giving rise to an air of uncertainty regarding potato markets at present. Home consumption is expected to pick up though, especially with colder weather forecast.
A lot of Irish growers are now finished lifting crop into stores, with the exception of Donegal where progress is still ongoing. Quality of material is reported to be very good, with the general narrative that yields are average.
Input costs, particularly fertiliser and energy, are gaining a lot of attention in the past week. Energy costs will be significant for growers with potatoes in store over winter.
Across Europe, IFA reports that Covid is back on the agenda, despite some very encouraging figures for export of frozen product and factory activity back to full production. Markets are wary that restrictions may be enforced again.
Overall, now that lifting has almost finished across Europe, top-up supplies for processors need to come from store and growers are slowly forcing prices higher in the range. Export demand remains steady, with values broadly unchanged.