Comment: Trade remains buoyant as we approach the October bank holiday weekend.

There are reports of good demand in the processing sector particularly and retail trade is steady.

Weather conditions over the past few weeks have been favourable for growers harvesting although this is likely to change with wetter conditions forecast for next week.

Good progress is being made around the country where crops are fit.

Again, there are many reports that desiccation has been slow because of weather conditions a few weeks ago.

Concerns are mounting among growers over the increase in input costs for the sector.

In the UK most areas now report clearance at 75 to 90% but still only around 60% in the Fens, where growers of late varieties including Markies are still waiting for skin set.

Across Europe increased input costs being faced by growers are starting to influence trade and a stronger resistance to lower quotes appears to be developing. Export demand is strong but shipping is proving to be difficult. Some exports to the Canaries have taken over four weeks to arrive.