As crop lifting is entering the final weeks(hopefully),the UK fresh market appears to be in balance as later yield appears to be slightly better than expected making up for some earlier disappointments.There have been large differences regionally throughout the UK with “Winners and Losers”. Prices have dipped slightly but are still ahead of production cost for an acceptable product. The market appears to have available/sold more free varieties than normal due to last season’s planting preferences.
Quality issues around Bruising and Bacterial rot are beginning to play a part as Variable Dry matters are involved, this does not bode well for the longer term store material that is still being lifted.”Sticking” soil adhesion is now becoming a major issue for this later lifted material if it needs to be moved now, due to storage pressure and needs time to dry. Some ware crops appear to have caught out growers in their sizing as many crops are being lifted with unacceptable levels of 85mm+.
The Salad/New market is increasingly challenging as some traditional varieties are becoming more sought after due to supermarket influence.
Contracts from pre packers are going to schedule and planned supply to customers is limiting day to day trades, which is more than can be said for some of the crisping/FF customers who appear to be “almost traditionally” behind planned movement of contracts at this stage of the season, how much longer these particular growers will stand this is yet to be confirmed.
Around the trade there is certainly some “natural shrinkage” due to happen with some high profile growers and some small growers with no infrastructure leaving the industry for the season 2016/2017.Also the impact of very limited/no Vyadate availability for the foreseeable future will promote some planting of new eelworm resistant varieties and/or simply take some land out of production for potatoes the impact of which is yet to be felt.