Comment: Markets remain largely unchanged as we continue with Level 5 restrictions. Early plantings are advancing this week as conditions improve.

Ahead of the main planting season, growers are reminded to be cognisant of the current market conditions and the potential changes that may occur as we move through the “Living with Covid” plan.

It is likely that the food service sector will remain suppressed until the summer months. In the UK, early plantings are now behind schedule due to poor ground conditions but they will progress at pace once conditions improve.

Discussions are ongoing in Brussels which relate to the export of seed from the UK to the EU. Across Europe, with the uncertainties of COVID-19 still very apparent, processors have been offering contracts at reduced values. At the prices being offered, growers are reported to be slow to sign up. This may lead to a lower area being grown on contract or a reduced area being planted. Prices in the fresh sector are holding for the best washing quality but the secondary and export markets are very quiet while catering outlets remain shut.