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GB potato stocks estimate - end-March

Article Date: 2013-05-20


The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board estimate for end-March 2013 GB potato stocks is 0.9 million tonnes.

This estimate is 15% lower than the adjusted estimate for end-March 2012. This estimate covers grower’s stocks only and does not include stocks held by purchasers. Please note this estimate should be treated as such and changes year-on-year are probably more useful than the specific figure, which will be subject to survey error margins.

There has been an estimated reduction in stocks held by growers of 800,000 tonnes since end- January. However, the proportion of end-March grower stocks relative to end-January stocks is similar to last season. In addition, packing and processing waste in 2012/13 is expected to be lower than in a typical year (due to the high prices and tight supply situation) and potatoes, that in previous years may have been graded out, are reaching their intended market.

According to HM Revenue & Customs, while GB was a net fresh exporter of 24,000 tonnes between June 2011 and February 2012, it has moved to a net fresh importer of 336,000 tonnes between June 2012 and February 2013. Net processing imports, expressed as raw potato equivalent, have fallen from 945,000 tonnes to 903,000 tonnes over the same period.

With a few months of the season still to come, the impact of stocks levels will depend on a number of factors, including net import levels, effective crop utilisation, the rate of consumption and the selling decisions of growers, amongst others.

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