Here in the “Potato World” everything just seems to be ticking along with not much change. Supply is adequate, quality much the same since Christmas and prices are holding. Growers with remaining stocks are now putting out “feelers” with a view to starting to move stores and are facing reality, which is higher prices are not forthcoming and in fact if a volume of product starts moving, prices will fall. The most worrying factor I think is demand which is generally very, very steady. Although, some growers are holding onto stock waiting for prices to rise. We have to ask the question; will they rise on the back of such steady demand?
It could well be a late spring with plantings delayed by all of the rain that we have had, although it is surprising how crops have a tendency to “catch up”. It’s certainly been mild and we have not had a lengthy spell of frosts.
We don’t really see anything altering very much short term probably a slight easing of prices and it is really still a guessing game as to whether prices will fall or rise as we head towards the end of the season.
We could well see a two tier quality and pricing market. With the samples that are of a poorer quality making less money and those of superior size and quality demanding a premium. I think this is why we have seen some suppliers offering lower priced finished product; bakers, washed etc. as quality has been of a lower standard; it’s a case of “you pay your money, you take your choice”.
Salad potato demand has been good all season and we have been happy with the quality we have had to offer. As a result, sales have been good and prices have held.
Red potatoes are now commanding a higher price and as a result we have decided to finish offering washed reds as the customer feedback has been very negative to price increases for this product.