Analysts are predicting an increase in potato plantings this season in response to improved prices.
Average GB ex-farm prices are currently at their second-highest level ever recorded for this time of year and with planting on-going it is likely the recent high price levels will have had an influence on planting decisions.
AHDB analyst Arthur Marshall says: “This time last year, there was a widespread response to low prices in reduced planted areas. In hindsight, we can see that this has contributed to very high prices despite record yields.”
Average ware prices in the season to date have been £36.80/t above the last season’s average.
While it is too early to know exactly to what extent planting decisions will react to current price levels, experience from previous comparable seasons suggests the GB 2016 potato area could be in the range 110,000ha to 115,000ha,- the 2015 GB acreage was 111,390ha.
“Even the high end of this range would remain the second smallest area on record and an average yield would result in lower production than this season.
“This implies potential for further tightness in the markets. If markets do remain tight, we would not normally see significant reductions in prices. This would be good news for those who have chosen to plant more potatoes for harvest 2016,’ says Mr Marshall.