Storm Babet causes concern in UK potato markets

October 25, 2023

1 mins read

Storm Babet, which made landfall in the UK on 19th October, brought torrential rainfall, causing extensive flooding, particularly in parts of Scotland. Potato farmers to the northeast of Edinburgh, specifically Angus, were among the hardest hit. Most potato crops, which were still in the ground, were affected. According to market sources, roughly 25% to 30% of the crop in this region was yet to be harvested and still in the ground, sources went on to mention growers in this area typically have a later planting and harvesting schedule compared to the rest of the UK, this because of the colder and often wetter weather.

Market sources reported that the impacted region primarily cultivates Maris Piper potatoes, which are already priced at elevated levels. The Mintec Benchmark Prices for Scottish Maris Piper stands at £300/mt, although year-on-year comparisons are unavailable as the data series began in August 2023. A typical transport discount exists between Scottish and English prices.

English Maris Piper [Mintec Code: KZ03] follows a similar price trend to the Scottish price. Currently, it is priced at £355/mt, reflecting a 77.5% year-on-year increase. Maris Piper prices have consistently remained high in the 2023/24 marketing year due to limited supply in the free-buy market. Industry sources anticipate that the impact of Storm Babet will likely support prices in the coming weeks as the full extent of the damage becomes more apparent.

Harry Campbell
Harry Campbell

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