Comment: There has been some positivity this week for the processing sector, as there is more certainty that the food service sector will reopen for outdoor and indoor dining in the coming weeks.

Plantings continue at pace, with good ground conditions at present. Frost conditions at night will most likely slow the progress of early crops.

Good-quality packing material continues to tighten.

In the UK, dry weather has meant planting has progressed well for the 2021 crop, with some even reported to be nearing completion. Bag trade has continued to improve as lockdown restrictions ease.

Across Europe, there is optimism that the new season is developing, as April 2022 futures prices are improving.

Physical prices are £5 to £10 per tonne stronger as processing factories increase production, but growers are also sourcing free-buy stocks to complete their contract commitments. There are reports that there has been better demand for export over the past week – mainly to Spain and Portugal.