Comment: This week’s IFA potato market report stated that retail demand remains buoyant, albeit slighted reduced as the weather improves. The reopening of restaurants for outdoor dining next week should provide a well-needed boost for the food service sector.

Current weather conditions are helping crop development and were welcomed by growers. However, a blight warning has been issued in the south and west of the country.

Reports indicate that it will be next week before significant lifting of early varieties such as Home Guard and Premier will commence. Stocks of good-quality packing material continue to tighten and command a premium price. However, most of this is offset by storage costs.

In the UK, the hospitality trade has seen an uplift since the food service sector reopened. Reports indicate that liftings are a ‘week or two’ behind schedule. In Europe, physical prices in the processing sector remain firm and there have been some increases noted again in the Netherlands and Belgium. Factories are reported to be running at full capacity in anticipation of a gradual end to lockdown.