UK: Potato prices rise as overall crop shrinks

Consumers, supermarket retailers and growers are keeping an eye on UK potato prices, which were on Friday up 30 per cent year-on-year due to a decline in production. Production during the 2016-17 growing season fell 5 per cent year-on-year to 5.2m tonnes, 2 per cent below the five-year average despite an increase in the acreage planted with the crop. Yields in 2016-17 are estimated at 44.9 per cent per hectare, down 8 per cent on last year due to poor weather during the season, according to commodities data provider Mintec. The decline in production saw UK potato stocks fall to their lowest level since 2012-13, at 2.9m tonnes in November. Prices in the UK have also strengthened on low supplies elsewhere in Europe. More