According to the latest weekly potato market report by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), potato retail sales and home consumption in Ireland continue to show resilience, with little change reported. However, the return of unsettled weather after brief dry spells has made harvest conditions particularly challenging.
Despite these hurdles, demand for the new season crop remains robust as it hits the market. Initial reports suggest that yields are averaging out, with fields presenting a uniform appearance.
On the European front, while demand has seen a slight dip, countries like France, Germany, and Holland are showing signs of market stability, especially after witnessing increases the previous week. A notable trend emerging from the 2023 planted acreage figures is the shift from fresh produce to processing varieties.
Meanwhile, in the U.K., even though harvest conditions have seen some improvement, they continue to pose significant challenges. Scotland reports a 20% clearance for storage, with an overall clearance rate of 35%. The past four days have seen self-propelled harvesters achieving commendable work rates, indicating a push to overcome the challenges.