Potato prices remain elevated amid early crop delays

July 19, 2023

2 mins read

The UK's Food Department, Defra, recently released its potato production figures for 2022/23, reporting a decline of 6.4% compared to 2021/22, with total production at 4.8 million tonnes. To put the production decline in context, the crop harvested in 2022 is only 139,000 tonnes higher than the severely affected crop in 2012, which was decimated by a very wet season. According to Defra, the harvested area for 2022 was 115,000 hectares, and industry sources suggest that the 2023 harvest hectarage might be even smaller. Even with an average yield in 2023, this could still reduce overall production compared to 2022.

While the old UK potato crop is mostly being traded at higher prices due to limited supply, the new season’s crop trade is also starting to pick up. However, demand is outpacing supply as freshly harvested crops are quickly bought up. Despite some new crop entering the market, Maris Piper volumes remain low, which is reflected in the latest price trend. The Mintec Benchmark Prices for Grade 1 Packing Maris Piper EXW England [Mintec Code: KZ03] were assessed at £470/mt, a year-on-year (y-o-y) increase of 327%.

Similarly, the Mintec Benchmark Prices for Grade 1 White Packing Potatoes EXW England [Mintec Code: POWP] are currently priced at £400/mt, up 627% y-o-y.  These higher prices are mainly due to delayed harvest and reduced stocks from the previous year. Market sources indicate that there will be some price relief by September when most of the 2023/24 potato crop is harvested and available.

                                                                                                               

Harry Campbell
Harry Campbell

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