Potato prices: Heavy rain delays harvest and limits supplies

The potato market improved this week according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Potato Market Update published yesterday (Wednesday, August 26).

New-season Roosters are on supermarket shelves and Queens are still selling.

“Queens continue to sell well with no pressure on prices. Growers are content to keep remaining supplies ticking over in the market,” the report stated.

All retailers are now selling new-season Rooster in pre-packs.

However, the heavy rain of recent days is affecting harvesting and therefore limiting the supply of new-season main crop to the market, the report explained.

Commenting on yield, the IFA said “all indications suggest a lower production of potatoes this season due to lower tuber numbers”.

The report also noted that the old season crop will be finished by September – allowing a full marketing season for this year’s crop.

Also Read: Potato desiccation after diquat

As more potatoes come onto the market the price is changing. Last week, new-season Roosters were reported at an average price of €525 and a 10kg bag of Roosters (new-season) was priced at an average price of €6.50.

This week a box of Roosters is reported to be at an average price of €475, while a 10kg bag of Roosters is at an average price of €6.

Average ex-farm potato prices reported to the IFA on August 26:
  • Rooster box (new season) – €475;
  • Rooster 10kg bag (new season) – €6;
  • New-season Queens 10kg bag – €7.

The UK and Europe

Across the water UK prices remain under pressure and some growers are reported to be trying to get poor-value product onto the market.

In Europe, average yields are being reported in France and Belgium.