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Bag trade winds down

5 July 2019

The increased rainfall towards the start of June fell to mixed reception initially, with some isolated pockets of flooding. In the majority of areas, the rain was welcomed, topping up soil moistures without hindering fieldwork. Since then the warm dry weather has allowed growers to get onto soils and the crop appears to be progressing well at this stage.

Marketing of the early crop is well underway, though demand remains limited. Dry matters need a couple of weeks to catch up in some regions but generally both quality and yields are looking good.

Free-buy trade has slowed in the packing market this month, with most packhouses running off contracted supplies. However, demand for best samples, with high baker content, has remained steady with prices supported over the month.

The chipping market has seen a limited appetite for old crop over the month, with prices for best quality remaining relatively steady towards the start of June. As the month progressed, trade slowed with some ongoing deterioration in store meaning that top tier old crop material was hard to source.

Increased volumes of new crop chipping potatoes have met with limited demand and some customers are still running off supplies of old crop and imported potatoes. This has resulted in prices easing rapidly over the past few weeks. In some regions dry matters still need a few weeks to improve.

The processing trade is generally covered by contracts, with limited demand for free-buy material. The peeling market saw more activity during the middle of June, as processors looked to secure stocks and ensure continuity of supply ahead of new crop.

Exports have ground to a halt with minimal trade reported. Customers in continental Europe have switched over to new crop supplies closer to home and left old crop well behind them.