The UK potato harvest is progressing slowly due to sporadic wet weather throughout the country, especially in Scotland.
Currently, there is a stable balance between free-buy demand and potato supply. Growers have experienced minimal pressure to reduce prices, resulting in slight price increases or largely unchanged rates on a week-to-week basis.
As of the latest Mintec Benchmark Price assessments, Grade 1 White Packing Potatoes EXW England [Mintec Code: POWP] are priced at £240/mt, reflecting a 4% increase compared to the previous week and a 9% year-on-year (y-o-y) rise. Similarly, Grade 1 Packing Maris Piper EXW England [Mintec Code: KZ03] is valued at £360/mt, up 1% week-on-week (w-o-w), a 71% y-o-y increase. Maris Piper potato prices across the UK have maintained higher prices, primarily due to limited supply availability in the market.
Market sources anticipate that prices will consolidate around these levels before increasing as growers put their potatoes into storage. A market condition to note is the low, and in some instances, non-existent premium for English potatoes compared to Scottish potatoes. This phenomenon has been attributed to recent wet weather, which has restricted supply in Scotland, prompting growers to request higher prices and forego the typical transport discounts associated with Scottish potatoes as there is enough demand in Scotland to sustain this.
The Mintec Benchmark Price for Grade 1 White Packing Potatoes EXW Scotland [Mintec Code: POSPW] is at £230/mt, with no change observed w-o-w. In the case of grade 1 Packing Maris Piper EXW Scotland [Mintec Code: POMP], prices are assessed at £345/mt, up £5/mt w-o-w.