Comment: Retail trade is reported to be slower this week as schools are on mid-term break.

However, with wetter, colder weather forecast this should improve. Demand for the processing sector remains buoyant, especially compared with this time last year when the country was in the midst of level five lockdown.

Reasonable ground conditions have allowed growers to achieve good lifting progress to date while some growers have now finished.

There are continued reports of below-average yields. Across Europe, fresh market prices are holding and there has been more interest in export from buyers in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe this week.

There is optimism for the season ahead as worldwide levels of consumption are higher than they were pre-pandemic in many countries. Harvesting has progressed well during the week but is still delayed in South West Holland and Belgium where there was still 40% to clear at the end of last week.

In the UK, apart from the Fens which still has 30% to harvest, around 85% of the crop is now been harvested although there are still pockets where either lack of storage or slow movement off the field has prevented clearance.