Potato values in the UK fell in the week to October 15 as better weather boosted availability and lower value supplies dominated sales.
The Potato Council's GB weekly average price slipped by £13.30/t to £121.17/t, with the free-buy average down by £17.36 to £139.70/t. However, that was still £17.46 and £60/t higher, respectively, than the same time last year, when harvest was 83% complete, against 70% this season.
"Movement to store continues, although soil contamination, particularly from clay land, is high and may require careful store management later," said the council in its weekly report.
In the packing market, movement was mainly on contract, although free-market loads with good baker content were also selling well.
"Growers are currently more interested in storing best stock, leaving available free-market supplies mainly in the medium- or lower-quality range, as well as some stocks that are surplus to storage capacity. Prices were, therefore, under pressure last week."
Imports were lagging behind last year, with 15,900t of ware and 150t of new potatoes imported between 1 August and 15 October. But export sales remained steady. "Opportunities for export to the continent as well as further east, particularly to Russia, are likely to increase this season following difficult production seasons in many countries."
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