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Prices remain under pressure as lifting continues - September 2019

4 October 2019

At the start of September lifting continued largely interrupted, but there was little interest in free-buy loads which pressured prices. More recently, rain hindered lifting and where possible material is being lifted to store. As a result, there is less available on the market and some prices are stabilising.

Packers remain focussed on moving material under contract and most reported little demand for free-buy loads. This small take-up generally focussed on loads with a high baker fraction. Prices eased across the month, with Piper in particular noticeably lower in both England and Scotland. Piper prices ended the month in the unusual position of being lower than grade 1 whites. The higher area of Piper grown under contracted this year likely means that free-buy requirements will be reduced this season. Prices remain in a very wide range depending on the quality and size spec of individual loads. 

Demand for bagged chipping supplies generally slowed at the start of the September, in line with seasonal trends and consumers returning to school and work. There’s been plenty of chipping material around, with most moving straight off the field. Prices for the first few weeks in September were under pressure and trade has largely prioritised consistent, repeat orders.

Most processing movement remains contracted, with little interest in free-buy supplies. The main free-buy trade we’ve been picking up is for peeling, with only the odd load for fries. Prices for peeling loads are in a very wide range depending on the job.

Export trade at the start of September was very quiet. Gradually over the month trade picked up to the Canaries, Ireland and Belgium. Exports also resumed to drought hit Poland, though movement remains light at this stage. With just over four weeks to go until we’re set to leave the EU, we may see a pick-up in trade as businesses try to shift supplies before the deadline, if they’re able to.