Retail potato demand buoyant – lockdowns stifling European demand

Source: Fresh Plaza

In its latest weekly report, the Irish Farmers Association claims that retail demand was buoyant over the Easter period in Ireland, but the food sector service in the country still continues to trade at a minimum. Early planting progress over the past week was good, although growth rates are hampered by cold nights with sub-zero temperatures. Indications are that Kerr Pinks and Records varieties are extremely scarce, commanding a premium price.

IFA says in its report that plantings in the UK are progressing well following a period of warmer weather. The easing of lockdown restrictions across England this week, alongside good weather seen by many, has created a better demand for chipping potatoes.

Image: Irish Farmers’ Association

Across Europe, another series of lockdowns is stifling potato demand and the main processors are keeping their requirements almost solely to contracts. IFA reports that despite improved sales, prices in the fresh sector in Europe are showing signs of downward pressure as growers push for sales. It is estimated that stocks in the five main producer countries in North West Europe – which includes the U.K. – are 900,000 tonnes higher than last year.