Home consumption continues to remain similar to 2019 levels (before the onset of the pandemic) for both retail and processing markets. Other fresh produce items are showing a similar trend. Harvesting of Queens continues this week and greater volumes are now available. Yields are said to be above average and eating quality is reported to be excellent. However, trade remains subdued as maincrop material in stores is putting pressure on growers carrying the burden of increased energy costs.
Across Europe, buyers for the main processing factories are now concentrating on contracts and demand for free buy has “dried up”, apart from some excess to contract. The new crop is reported to be yielding well and harvest progress is “a week ahead” of last year. The area of seed production in Scotland has decreased this year (10,219 ha v 10,461ha) following the fallout from Brexit. In the UK, early maturing varieties have performed well and many maincrops look very well but quality issues are starting to appear.
All areas, apart from the north west, are becoming dry and irrigation over the past four weeks has been hindered by strong winds. Common Scab is being noted in crops down the eastern side of the country.