Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends, Weather/Climate

Mintec: Wet harvest weighs on UK potato crop, leading to supply shortages and quality issues

UK potato prices continue to rise, with buyers struggling to secure stocks amid tight supplies of free-buy potatoes, writes market analyst Harry Campbell in a news story published by Mintec.

He says the Mintec Benchmark Prices for English white packing potatoes were last assessed at £330/mt, an increase of 43.4% month-on-month (m-o-m) and 65% year-on-year (y-o-y). Prices for English Maris Piper also showed strong increases with the assessment last made at £400/mt, up 12.6% m-o-m, and 135% y-o-y.

According to Harry Campbell, the tightness in supply has been driven by weather issues throughout the harvest period with heavy rainfall leading to an increase in rots and other quality issues. Further exacerbating the poor conditions was the fact that many growers had delayed crop lifting to bolster yields, following delayed plantings at the start of the season. This resulted in a higher proportion of the crop remaining in the ground when poor weather conditions began. 

“We are seeing increased levels of rot from crops which have been stuck in wet soils. I managed to move some Saxon which had only been in store a couple of weeks and around 30% was rot. Loss during storage is going to be a major issue this year,” a UK potato trader told Mintec.

“With the increased prevalence of rots and other issues from the wet conditions we have seen in the past few months, we are seeing a fair amount of material coming out of stores before it deteriorates. Good quality is still very hard to come by, and looking into 2024 this issue is only going to get worse given how bad storage issues are already looking,” a UK packhouse manager disclosed to Mintec.

Source: Mintec. Read the full story a view graphs here

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