As we approach another bank holiday weekend, demand for stock destined for the food service sector is buoyant.

Plantings continue this week, particularly in the northeast, with excellent ground conditions. It is largely reported that spiralling input costs will lead to less planting of potatoes this year.

The margin for growing potatoes has always been tight, but the upcoming season will not be viable if growers do not get price increases.

European markets

Across Europe, futures prices are slightly off, but broadly unchanged this week. Planting is proceeding well, with main crop progress put at 25% to 50% across mainland northern Europe.

Buyers for the main processors are active in the market and particularly for delivery in May, June and July. In the UK, sales are “ticking over”, but stocks have been slow to clear after the holiday period in some areas.

Sellers with poorer-quality samples are now pushing harder to clear stocks and some lower values have been taken to secure movement.