Chip potato markets remain extremely quiet. Plants are running exclusively on contract potatoes. Early-season contract volumes are down from last year. Large crops in Michigan, Maine, and Wisconsin have left chip manufacturers with little appetite to increase contract volumes. In addition, growers in the southern states likely need significant price increases due to the higher costs of production this year.
Stats Canada indicates that Canadian growers produced 123.1 million cwt of potatoes during 2021. That is 19.0 million cwt more than the 2020 crop, an 18.2% increase. Production in the Maritime Provinces is up 43.4% from last year. Production is reported to be up from last year in every other province except British Columbia. Ontario growers produced 8.952 million cwt of potatoes in 2021. That is 1.43 million cwt more than the 2020 crop, a 19.1% increase. The split between table potatoes and chip potatoes will not be available until later this week, but the province should have plenty of supplies to fill its needs through the regular storage season. PEI and New Brunswick potato production increased 35.8% and 58.3% from a year earlier, respectively.
October potato chip exports (mostly product fabricated from potato flakes) totaled 8.81 million lbs. That is down 13.9% from last year and it is 3.9% less than the 2017-19 average potato chip export volume. Fresh potato shipments to Japan jumped from 4,000 cwt last year to 142,000 cwt in October 2021. The country has increased its purchases of US chip potatoes due to its poor crop this year.
US packers shipped 1.778 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending December 4, 2021. That is up from 1.579 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 46,500 cwt of potatoes during the week ending December 4, 2021. That is up from 42,500 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 84.1% Russets, 7.7% Round White potatoes, and 8.2% Yellow potatoes.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for $11.00-$11.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $8.50-$9.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $16.00-$18.00 per 50# box, also unchanged. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $22.70 per cwt, down from $22.97 per cwt last week.
Wisconsin packers are selling 10/5# bags of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $17.50-$18.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling 50# cartons of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $18.00 per 50# box, also unchanged. Red River Valley packers are selling size A Yellow potatoes in 2000# tote bags for mostly $22.00 per cwt, unchanged from last week. Long Island packers are selling size A Yellow potatoes in 2000# tote bags for mostly $17.00 per cwt, unchanged from a week ago.
Long Island packers are selling size A Round White potatoes in 2000# tote bags for mostly $16.00 per cwt, unchanged from last week.