The recent rise in UK packing potato prices has been weighing on demand from retailers, with supermarkets utilising contracted supplies as much as possible to reduce exposure to high prices in the free-buy market.
As Harry Campbell reports, the Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Grade 1 white packing potatoes EXW England were assessed at £400/mt on 6th June 2023, up £25/mt on the week and an increase of 321% year-on-year.
“There isn’t any margin on free-buy potatoes at these price levels, so we have only been buying to ensure continuity of supply and where possible are relying on contracted stocks to offset the high prices,” a UK supermarket buyer disclosed to Mintec.
Consumer demand for fresh potatoes has also eased in line with the arrival of warmer weather in both the UK and the EU. The shift has led to growers requiring increased irrigation to offset the lack of precipitation in recent weeks.