Comment: Retail and consumer demand has improved this week, as colder weather has returned and families are back into routines following the holiday period.

The hospitality sector continues to prosper, despite the return of schools.

Harvesting of maincrop Rooster continues and again reports are that yields are average.

The cold spring/early summer followed by a period of drought conditions are taking a toll on yields. Many growers have delayed harvesting to give crops extra time to mature.

Demand remains buoyant for Queens and stocks are becoming increasingly tight.

Harvesting of Kerr Pinks should increase in the next week – lifting has been slow to date, as again crops were affected by this season’s growing conditions.

Across Europe, markets continue to regain confidence as economies are almost fully reopened at this point.

Demand is described as reasonable and prices are generally holding. The processing sector is stable, compared with this period last year.

In the UK, sellers are noticing more rejections, mainly attributed to growth cracks and bruising. Sales of Maris Piper are reported as steady in the UK and attempts to force lower values have largely been resisted.