Unfavourable weather conditions have led Britain's potato stocks to
drop almost 20% year-on-year, according to the Potato Council – cautioning
over setbacks already this year thanks to poor weather too.
Latest estimates showed that British potato growers stocks totalled
2.7m tonnes at the end of November 2012, a fall of 18% compared with the 3.3m
tonnes a year before.
The fall was a reflection of a harvest sapped by "mainly
adverse [weather] conditions", with the Potato Council reporting "snow and
wintery showers followed by some periods of heavy rain," and resulted in
unfavourable ground conditions, still "too wet for any land work".
Potato production last year posted a 24% reduction on 2011 levels to 4.64m tonnes.
have also risen as a result of the lower domestic production.
in the six-months ending November 2012 were up by over 250% on the same period
in 2011, according to data from the Potato Council.
the council also suggested the tight supply situation would give processors an
economic incentive to reduce the level of potatoes wastes in packing and
prices ended last week at £240.02 per tonne up 2.7% from the previous
week and more than twice the $113.76 per tonne seen in the same week 2012.
Europe has same
story is much the same in northern Europe where France, Germany, Belgium and
the Netherlands reported an average 16% decline in potato crop production last
prices of processing potatoes in Germany stood last week at the equivalent of £172-181 a
tonne, up from £169-186 a tonne the week prior.
prices for processing potatoes were little changed in Belgium, France and the Netherlands
on the week. However, prices remain
considerable than those seen this time last year.
In France, the price increase is more than four times higher, from £38 a tonne to £176 a tonne, with
Belgian prices, at £172
a tonne, some three
times higher than a year ago.
Meanwhile, the extension of the wet conditions has plagued farmers
with early-sown crops in 2013 too, in the south west of England, where a warmer
climate and sandy soils encourage farmers to cash in on higher-priced
"Wet weather again hampered planting in Cornwall" last week,
the council said, although at the weekend "conditions improved allowing
activities to gain momentum".
The wet weather is also hampering growers who have crops
left over from 2012 still to lift, and which they are attempting to clear in
time for the spring planting season.