Allegedly, some UK growers are postponing lifting where possible due to the subdued demand for earlies as a result of the volume of 2019 crops remaining, especially in the bag trade.
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Earlies prices in Essex reduced again week-on-week averaging around £13.50 per 25kg bag although M Bard is able to obtain a touch more. In Cambridgeshire, prices are reported around £15-£16 per 25kg bag, which includes M Bard.
There is large variation in prices in the south and the west depending on the end market. Many are reported to be going into retail packing and with rain hindering some lifting, especially in the South, much of the movement is on contract.
Lifting in Shropshire and Cheshire is mostly still a couple of weeks off, with the frosts a few weeks ago pushing harvest back a little. This could help areas such as Pembrokeshire and Cornwall to clear some supplies in a relatively subdued market before the arrival of more earlies crops.
Early trade is still being described as slow for many, with shopper behaviour not in the usual trend and an increased volume of old-crop compared to normal.