07 February 2020
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Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

Potato Weekly

07 February 2020

At a glance

  • Better weather this week has allowed for lifting and fieldwork to continue where growers can get on the land. What has been lifted over the past few weeks is being moved quickly to avoid storage issues.
  • This week, the majority of markets saw a quietened level of demand. Contracted movement continued at similar levels to the week before, with packing markets in particular making use of contracted supplies.

End-November stocks lowest since 2012

GB grower held potato stocks at the end of November 2019 are estimated at 2.88Mt, down 4% from last season and 11% below the five-year average (2014-2018). This comes despite an 182Kt increase in production from last season’s drought-hit crop and places the November stock figure at the lowest level since 2012.

Click here to read the full article for more in-depth analysis.

Articles this week

Last chance to apply of our Next Generation programme

In previous years, sessions have included a visit to McCain headquarters, a tour of Scottish seed production businesses and a Westminster roundtable with MPs with farming briefs and agricultural constituencies. We’re looking for applicants from all sectors of the industry by 16 February,
for more information and application details click here.

Open board session, 19 March: York
This is your opportunity to comment on potential activities before they are proposed to the main AHDB board for confirmation. The meeting will finish with an open question and answer session.
Booking is essential and open to all levy paying businesses.

The cost of desiccation without diquat

Alternative products, along with flailing, can give virtually as quick desiccation as diquat, as trials and demonstrations across our SPot Farm network have shown. But at what cost? Dr Mark Stalham, Head of NIAB CUF who led the trials, reveals the results, Mark Topliff from our Farm Economics team crunches the numbers and we speak to farm manager Will Gagg for his views. Read more.

Store cleaning - start now!

This summer's crop is likely to come out of store after the new, as yet unknown, maximum residue levels for CIPC come into force, it pays to start preparing as soon as stores begin to empty.
Read our four steps to post-CIPC store cleaning here.

Shoppers scale back this Christmas

Belt-tightening behaviours meant Christmas 2019 saw the slowest rate of growth over the festive period in four years. Despite this, the four weeks of Christmas are still worth £1.6bn more than the average month, accounting for 9% of grocery sales throughout the year. Read more insight into Christmas here.

Weekly prices

2019 crop - Packing
England - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
  • Packing markets this week saw average prices mostly stand on from last week. Most movement continued under contract this week, with free-buy trade consisting of repeat orders.
  • In Scotland, average prices for packing whites picked up slightly on the week. This was due to a higher proportion of better quality supplies in the sample.
Scotland - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
2019 crop - Bags
GB - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
  • A smaller free-buy sample was captured this week for the bagged chipping trade, with most movement consisting of repeat orders.
  • Mixed and dark fry colour remains a widespread issue in lower quality stock. With this in mind, best quality supplies continue to demand a high premium.
East (Yorks, East Mids, Eastern Counties) - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
West (West Mids, Wales, North West) - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
South (South West, South, South East) - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
Scotland - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.

Insufficient quotes reported.

2019 crop - Processing
GB - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
  • This week, peeling prices eased with increased supplies becoming available as lifting continued.
2019 crop - Exports
GB - All prices free-buy, ex farm, £/t unless otherwise stated.
  • Exports to the Canary Islands has quietened after brisk trade last week. Best quality supplies remain difficult to source.

These quotes are from actual free-buy trades collected by a weekly telephone survey of buyers, growers and merchants on a Wednesday and Thursday.
They give an indication of the range of prices achieved in the past week.
Any underlined and italicised prices are based on a smaller sample and will only display the median value.
n/q = no quotes in last reported week.
For further information on what these prices mean and how they are calculated,
please click here.

Quick links


Alex Cook
Trainee Analyst


Or meet the Market Intelligence Potato Team here.