The Irish retail and processing trade remains unchanged, with good demand for processing material as the holiday season is underway.
The remainder of Home Guard and Premier continue to clear. More Queens are coming onto the market this week as many growers have begun lifting in the south east. Again, there are reports of frost damage on the earliest planted crops. The Scheme of Investment Aid for the Seed Potato Sector is open for applicants until the 1st of July. Irrigation is well underway for many growers following the past 10 days with almost no rainfall.
Early estimates of planted area in Northern Europe show small increases in the processing sector but overall could be the smallest area ever recorded, taking into account reductions in planting for seed and starch production. Across Europe, early crop is now developing well and buyers for the big processors are restricting their demands almost totally to contracts with limited interest in excess to contract.
Free buy prices have fallen back if any buyers can be found. Growers with stocks still in store are hoping that there may still be a last flourish of interest before the season ends.