Comment: The food service sector is slowly beginning to reopen as outdoor dining returned last weekend.

This is especially welcomed by growers who solely supply the sector, as business has been running at below 25% capacity since December.

Prices for peeling produce have been reported in the region of €180-€200/tonne.

The first liftings of early crops began last week and will continue this week.

However, volumes will be slow to come on to the market due to a cold, wet spring.

Weather conditions conducive to the spread of potato blight will occur in southern and western coastal counties this week. Main-crop material continues to tighten and merchants are actively seeking the remaining top-quality produce.

Across Europe, the fresh and export markets are flat, while the transition over to imported new-crop gathers momentum. European factories exported a record 184,000 tonnes of product in March, mainly to the Middle East, but also to North America.

In the UK, more new-crop is becoming available, but volumes are still low. Yields are reported to be improving after a spell of warmer weather.