Potato prices: Average yields and uncertain markets

This week, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) stated that potato growers supplying the food service sector “have had one of the worst years on record”.

The association Potato Market Update outlined how the prospect of additional lockdown measures is affecting the market, particularly the food-service sector.

Away from trade and the dry days this week has allowed growers to make progress on lifting. Reports continue to be of yields below average “especially in areas that were affected by drought earlier in the year”.

On a brighter note, trade for Kerr Pinks was reported to be holding steady in the report as quality is reported as very good.

Potato Prices

Average ex-farm potato prices reported to the IFA saw the average price of a box of Roosters decrease by €20 from last week to €380.

Average ex-farm potato prices reported to the IFA on October 14:
  • Roosters box (new-season) – €380;
  • Roosters 10kg bag (new-season) – €4.50;
  • New-season Queens 10kg bag – €6;
  • Kerr Pinks 10kg bag – €5.50.

The UK

Trade is under pressure in the UK as a result of lockdown measures as well and trade in both bags and the processing sector have been reported.

Prices are relatively unchanged, but are below the average for the same time last year. Heavy rain has slowed down harvesting progress over the past week.

Europe

Rain has also caused a slow down in progress in many parts of northern Europe. The IFA reported that clearance for storage is estimated at 10% in Belgium; 20% to 30% in Holland; 30% to 40% in France; and over 50% in Germany.

Production at processing factories in Europe is estimated as 85-90% of pre Covid-19 levels.