Retail potato trade over the Christmas period was buoyant in Ireland and it is now back to usual levels, according to the Irish Farmers Association’s (IFA) weekly market report.
IFA says most growers are in the process of sourcing seed for the upcoming season and with reports that the area planted will reduce again this year, there should be no shortage of seed for the popular varieties. Growers are advised to contact their suppliers as soon as possible. A proportion of home saved seed may be used given some of the issues reported in 2022, however this too has its drawbacks.
The peeling trade and price remains buoyant.
In the U.K., IFA reports that movement over the holiday period appears to have kept up with expectations, although some buyers are still lagging with their contract movement and particularly with M.Piper. Peelers are taking in contracts but there has also been demand for free buy M.Piper. Growers with samples that are borderline packing quality are now taking the view that with storage costs it would be better to clear stocks now rather than wait for orders which may not appear.
In Europe, processing factories are back to full production after the holiday break, and confidence in the export market for frozen potato products is strong. The Euro has traded below parity to the US dollar, giving export values an added competitive advantage on world markets.