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Price of potatoes set to rise after poor weather affects crop

23 October 2016

For the latest research shows that potato prices are unusually high this autumn after adverse weather hit crops across Europe earlier this year.

Data from commodity analysts Mintec shows that EU potato prices were up 13 per cent year-on-year this month because poor weather delayed harvests and reduced yields.

Mintec reported: “Potato production is expected to fall two per cent year-on-year to 24.9 million tons, due to a decline in yields as weather conditions have not been favourable this year.

“Europe experienced cold and wet conditions in spring and early summer, followed by heatwave in August and September, which delayed the harvests and has reduced yields.”

Trade magazine The Grocer said that potato supplies are also tightening in the UK where growers have suffered low prices in recent years due to falling consumption and the bumper 2014-15 crop.

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board market analyst Sara Maslowski told the magazine: “Average prices of GB potatoes, while under seasonal pressure, are remaining firm and are higher than usual.

“This is partly as a result of particularly strong prices at the end of the 2015-16 season as a smaller 2015 crop meant less availability at the end of the season, which supported GB prices.

“Later planting together with colder and wetter weather in June meant that new season crop development got off to a slow start, which added further support to prices.

“But The Grocer says that British demand for the humble spud is also beginning to rise.

“According to the recent data, the decline in UK potato consumption is beginning to ease ” said Andy Weir, the head of marketing at wholesaler Reynolds, which will be revising its six-month prices in line with price hikes on November 1.


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