The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that growers in the storage states held 121.1 million cwt of potatoes on April 1. That is 6.2 million cwt less than those same states had in storage a year ago, a 4.9% reduction.
The USDA also reduced its overall February 1 stocks estimate by 2.6 million cwt. Seven of the reporting states had the same or fewer potatoes in storage on April 1 than they held a year ago. At 68.7 million cwt, U.S. February-March potato disappearance fell 2.6 million cwt short of the 2022 pace, a 3.6% decline.
USDA puts Michigan’s April 1 potato stocks at 3.7 million cwt. That is 300,000 cwt less than the state held a year earlier, a 7.5% reduction. At 3.5 million cwt, February-March disappearance fell 400,000 cwt, or 10.3%, short of 2022 movement. Michigan’s chip potato usage dropped by 520,000 cwt, or 23.9%, relative to last year. Fresh potato movement exceeded year-earlier shipments by 35,000 cwt, a 7.1% increase.
Canada held 45.43 million cwt of potatoes in storage on April 1. That is 1.38 million cwt more than the April 1, 2022 inventory, a 3.1% increase. Alberta held 82.2% of the extra potatoes. The largest percentage gain was in seed potatoes, up 14.3% from last year. Processing potato inventories rose by 3.4%, while stocks intended for table potato sales dropped 7.2%. Canada’s March potato disappearance totaled 11.62 million cwt. Though March disappearance fell 3.3% short of the 2022 pace, it is the second-strongest movement on record.
Quebec Potato Producers reported that the province held 681,000 cwt of chip potatoes on April 1. Unfortunately, we do not have April 1, 2022 data to compare that to. We do know that Quebec’s April 1 processing stocks (chip and fry quality potatoes) totaled 2.275 million cwt. That is 268,000 cwt less than the year-earlier inventory, but it is Quebec’s second-largest April 1 processing inventory on record. Ontario held 1.800 million cwt of chip potatoes on April 1. That is 599,000 cwt less than the province held a year earlier. However, it is Ontario’s third-largest April 1 inventory on record. Ontario’s raw-product usage picked up during March, while usage was flat in Quebec. Ontario’s March processing use exceeded the 2022 pace by 40.7%. At the March usage rate, Ontario’s storage chip potato supplies would last until mid-June.
U.S. packers shipped 1.588 million cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending April 15. That matched the year-earlier shipments. Michigan’s reported shipments totaled 75,400 cwt of potatoes during the week ending April 15. That is down from 54,500 cwt during the same week in 2022. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 79.1% russets, 16.4% yellow potatoes, and 4.5% round white potatoes.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A russets in 10-pound bags for mostly $16-$17 per 50-pound bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling size A russets in 5-pound bags for mostly $17-$18 per 50-pound bale, also unchanged. Wisconsin packers are selling size A russet potatoes in 10-pound bags for mostly $15-$16 per 50-pound bale, up from $14.50-$16.00 per 50-pound bale last week. They are selling russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $29-$32 per 50-pound box, unchanged from a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $39.02 per cwt. That is up from $38.29 per cwt a week ago.
Red River Valley packers are selling size A yellow potatoes in 2,000-pound tote bags for mostly $28 per cwt, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling yellow creamers in 50-pound sacks for mostly $30, also unchanged. Florida packers are selling 50-pound cartons of size A yellow new-crop potatoes for $25.95-$30.25 per box, unchanged from last week. They are selling yellow creamers in 50-pound cartons for $45.25-$50.95 per box, also unchanged.
Florida packers are selling 50-pound cartons of size A round white potatoes for mostly $29.95 per box, unchanged from last week. They are selling round white creamers in 50-pound cartons for $45.95-$50.95 per box, also unchanged.
– Report by North American Potato Market News