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Search for bakers boosts prices – June 19

7 June 2019

Storage

While no major new issues have been noted, the warm weather has continued to result in a gradual degradation in quality, as is common this time of year.

Crop development

Meanwhile, for new crop the recent rainfall has provided relief for some areas, though many remained concern about soil moisture levels moving forward. Crops appear to be progressing well and limited volumes of earlies are being delivered to market, though demand is reportedly slow.

Domestic prices

The last few weeks have seen an increase in prices for best quality supplies as availability dwindled. The WAPS price has shown increases, with the WAPS price in week ending 25/05/19, reflecting an increase in ex-prices for good quality packing whites. Following this the main driver behind further increases has been changes in the varieties and quality captured in the sample rather than direct price rises.

A demand for samples with good quality baker fractions has pushed up the grade 1 packing whites price, with a higher proportion of best quality captured in the Potato Weekly quotes. The past few weeks have seen packhouses in both England and Scotland re-open their doors to free-buy supplies. The reignited demand for free-buy has helped support the market, which was previously supported by significant volumes of packing material heading out of Scotland over to mainland Europe.

In the chipping market we have seen prices move up as best quality became increasingly scarce. At the same time volumes of lower quality supply have become increasingly hard to move, with end users reportedly expressing limited interest in anything with subpar or variable fry colour.

There has been limited interest in the free-buy market from processors with most movement consisting of orders from repeat customers.

Export trade continued to be strong throughout most of May, with increased movement of fresh packing supplies to Europe. This is likely to begin to tail off in the coming weeks, with trade sources suggesting that customers in Eastern Europe are beginning to look closer to home for supplies. With exports having reached record levels in March, it seems increasingly likely that we may see remain elevated export levels in April and May.