Analysis by AHDB shows that the planted area of the UK potato crop is likely to decline further in 2021.
In a statement, Anthony Speight, AHDB Analyst for Potatoes & Cereals and Oilseeds, commented, “The last 12 months have really taken their toll on potato markets. The coronavirus pandemic happened at one of the worst points within the potato growing cycle, and there was not much growers could do to reduce their area.
“This led to pressure towards the end of 2019/20 marketing year, which meant that the average price of a ware potato ended at £179/t, down from £199/t in 2018/19.”
As a result of ongoing trends and differences in the price volatility of different sectors, they believe that while some sectors, such as processing, will see more crop in the ground general ware, chipping and packing sectors will contribute to an overall decline of 2 per cent year-on-on year.
“With the current market climate, it is anticipated that the area will be below the trendline, as we are expected to see two successive low-priced years,” he added. “With WAPS prices at the moment averaging £168.00/t, behind last year’s total average by £9.00/t. By plotting a trendline we can see that the area could reduce mathematically by around 2.0-2.5 per cent, which is displayed in the green circle. With WAPS weighted towards more packing and processing sectors mean the drop in bags and chipping could exceed the trend expectations.”
Picture caption: AHDB predicts that the UK potato area will decline 2-2.5 per cent in 2021