BPC estimates match last season UK will avoid import clash New potato imports up to July 31 should be similar to last season's at around 251,000 tonnes, according to the British Potato Council following meetings with the major suppliers this week. This should avoid clashes as the UK crop starts to be lifted. Some 6,000 ha have been planted in Brittany, with UK imports expected to reach some 25,000t ­ slightly higher because of lack of interest from Eastern Europe. Early varieties will be Starlette, Ostara and Duke, to be followed by Europa, Aminica, Charlotte, Nicola and Roseval. In Seville planting is 30% higher, with some 1,100 tonnes of Cara, Nicola and some Charlotte expected for UK processing. Lifting is expected to start this week. The Cartegena region has been estimated to supply 8,000t of Fresia, Nicola, Cara and Marfona loading between now and June 15. Other regions may send up to 4,000 tonnes. Cyprus potato shipments are set to conclude by the end of June, with 40,000t to 50,000t coming to the UK. Egypt has been hit by brown rot problems, leading to imports to the UK of around 40,000t, a 30% reduction on last year. The current ban on imports is unlikely to affect this forecast. Italian crops are late due to cold weather, and the small sized crop will start at the end of this month. UK imports should reach 12,000t. Israeli exports are continuing to increase so estimates have been revised to reach 30,000t, with two thirds already here. Greece, Morocco, and newcomer Syria are only expected to ship small volumes. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}