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End-January grower held stocks estimated at 1.84Mt

Publication Date: 
8 March 2019

Sara Maslowski, Senior Analyst,, 02476 478953

AHDB estimates GB potato stock levels, held by growers at the end of January, at 1.84Mt. This is higher than at the same point in 2012, but only slightly below 2016, another tighter supply season.

Figure 1 shows production and stock levels held by growers at key points in the season. End of January stocks are 24% (or 589Kt) lower than this point in the season last year. Stocks are also down 13% on the five year average.

Drawdown of stocks to end-January

Our estimate suggests that c.1.13Mt of crop was released from farm in December and January. This reflects reports of earlier movement of some stocks. The unseasonal winter temperatures have led to some stocks showing signs of breakdown. These stores were cleared earlier than planned. 

This is a change to the speed of movement from harvest. The rate at which potatoes moved out of growers’ stores between harvest and the end of November was, in contrast, below average. This was largely the result of a lengthened 2017 season.


  • Correction: this article has been changed to include an amended table showing the correct End-Jan stocks figures for 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2015/16. As a result of the incorrect average, previously it was stated that this year’s figure was 11% down on the five year average when the actual figure is 13%.
  • We plan to release more detail on the latest stocks position and its potential impact for the weeks ahead. In the meantime, further information is available at our Potato Data Centre. To keep up to date with the latest market news, go to Potato Weekly.
  • For further information on store management, browse our Storage Hub and the Store Managers’ Guide.  Or if you have any specific questions, email or call the Storage Advice Line on 0800 02 82 111.
  • The latest estimate is based on AHDB survey data received by the end of January 2019, covers grower’s stocks only and does not include stocks held by purchasers.
  • When considering comparisons, please be aware that the error margin for the estimate is approximately +/- 7.2% (131.7Kt). AHDB estimates are subject to revision when appropriate.

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