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A Market View - Number 2

The second market review from the TPP “celebrates” all things wet (tongues firmly in cheeks) ……how things have changed.

Since early October, rain, and significant amounts of it, have fallen and this trend has continued into November. Some crop is unlikely to ever be lifted although this is likely to be a small percentage but very painful for affected growers.

It is very noticeable this year that the later planted crops (late May onwards) have seen very variable tuber numbers, and yields have been poor as a result. When combined with a reduced planted area and now the wet weather, it is unclear just how many potatoes are in store for the rest of the year.

The current market across all sectors – retail packing, bulk processing and Bag Trade continues to gain momentum as growers who have crop safely lifted are reluctant to load, whilst recently lifted material is generally wet, with some bruising and often a few rots just to really cheer us all up.

Every sample is different, so pricing guides remain in a wide range but you could say that retail whites are around £300 +, Piper at £400 +, Reds at £350-400 and Salads at £500 +.

Bag trade remains in a huge range according to quality and variety from low £300’s to mid £400’s.

Bulk processing has also gained momentum with samples now worth £250x. This is one area that may not rise as much as there will likely be stores that are not holding up and will need clearing in the next month or two. Distressed samples for peeling are from £200x. All in all it is a challenging time for growers and for buyers.

Other things to note are that generally most supermarkets and their retail packers have recently reduced pack sizes to try to help manage the current issues with crop in the ground and lower quality in farm stores. Historically when this has happened, they have packed less and this has reduces prices in the market place. We will have to wait and see how this develops.

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