Grower-held potato stocks lower than 2020, but higher than average

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UK grower-held potato stocks, as at the end of January, sat at 2.11Mt, 39% of total production, according to figures released by AHDB.

The 2.11Mt of potatoes in grower ownership at the end of January was 47.4Kt lower than in January 2020, but 40.86Kt higher than the five-year average. Of this, 61% had already been sold, either on pre-season contracts or as a forward sale.

The stocks figures do not account for potatoes held by packers, processors, merchants but purely represented what was on-farm at that time.

Scotland accounted for 29% (608.7Kt) of what remained in grower ownership, representing almost half of total Scottish potato production still in store and more than at the same point last year. While there was a slight uplift in production in Scotland, much of the Scottish area grown is for seed production therefore, slower seed sales may account for some of this volume. There have been reports that many growers delayed their seed orders this year whilst deciding what to plant.

Despite 31% of potatoes in store being situated in the East of England and East Midlands, the combined volume (657.2Kt) was lower than the same time last year. The rate of movement from grower ownership between end-November and end-January was 178.4Kt greater than the same period a year ago.

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