Potato prices: Maincrop yields below average

As potato growers have now made a big dent in the maincrop potato harvest, they are reporting reduced yields according to this week’s Potato Market Update from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Weather conditions over the past week were favourable for digging until Wednesday (September 30). However, growers were still facing issues of low yields and skin set.

Reports are that maincrop yields are well below average this year and, along with this, some growers were forced to stop harvesting due to issues with skin set.

The food-service sector remains under pressure with restrictions now imposed on counties Dublin and Donegal and this is resulting in reduced demand for potatoes.

Average potato prices reported to the IFA this week are outlined below. The average price of a 10kg bag of Roosters decreased this week to €4.50. The average price for this product last week was €5.

Average ex-farm potato prices reported to the IFA on September 30:
  • Roosters box (new-season) – €400;
  • Roosters 10kg bag (new-season) – €4.50;
  • New-season Queens 10kg bag – €6;
  • Kerr Pinks – €6.

The UK and the EU

In the UK there have been further restrictions and this is causing buyers to plan on a weekly basis. According to the IFA, “many growers are lifting into stores due to the depressed market”.

In Europe dry soils are slowing up harvest progress and physical markets in the processing sector are reported to be remaining very quiet. Early sprouting has also been seen in some stores.