Market Report February 23rd, 2021

News Category: Market Reports
Potato truck

USDA reports that growers in the 11 traditional storage states held 197.1 million cwt of potatoes on February 1. That is 6.0 million cwt less than those same states had in storage a year ago, a 3.0% decline. It is the lowest February 1 inventory since the 2013 crop. Seven of the 11 reporting states had fewer potatoes in storage on February 1 than they had a year ago. At 64.4 million cwt, US December-January potato disappearance exceeded the 2020/21 pace by 1.2 million cwt or 1.9%.

USDA puts Michigan’s February 1 potato stocks at 8.5 million cwt. That is 1.2 million cwt more than the state held a year earlier, a 16.4% increase. At 3.8 million cwt, December-January disappearance exceeded the year-earlier movement by 200,000 cwt, or 5.6%. Chip potato usage was nearly unchanged, while fresh potato shipments increased by 113,000 cwt from last year.

Good recovery rates have reduced the volume of potatoes needed to cover this year’s demand for potato chips. Northern plants may be able to run longer than usual during May on storage potatoes. Chip potato buyers have been cutting back on early chip potato contract volumes. Inventories should be sufficient to cover industry needs through the transition to the 2022 crop. However, some chip potatoes in the northeastern states have been purchased by fryers in the Pacific Northwest to help fill their raw product supply gap. 

US packers shipped 1.689 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending February 19, 2022. That is down from 1.745 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 82,800 cwt of potatoes during the week ending February 19, 2022. That is up from 65,900 cwt during the same week in 2021. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 87.2% Russets, 9.3% Yellow potatoes, 2.4% Round White potatoes, and 1.1% Red potatoes.

USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $11.00-$12.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $9.50-$10.50 per 50# bale, up from $9.50-$10.00 per 50# bale last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $16.00-$17.50 per 50# box, unchanged from a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $22.02 per cwt, down from $22.52 per cwt last week.