Chip potato markets remain quiet. Plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Chip companies indicate that they have plenty of potatoes to get through the storage season without the need for increased contract volumes in Florida and Texas. However, we wonder if this might be the calm before the storm. A review of AMS data on chipstock movement reveals that chipstock movement from the storage states is well ahead of last year’s pace. Michigan shipments are up 13.1% through January 16. Wisconsin is up 24.0%. North Dakota is up 66.9%. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that shipments from Maine are up 24.4% from last despite the 2020 drought. If that state’s current shipping pace continues its remaining potatoes could be cleaned up in six weeks. New York’s shipments are down by 2.6%, but that doesn’t reflect the impact of last summer’s drought. The current calm amidst this year’s heavy movement doesn’t seem to add up.
US packers shipped 1.725 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending January 16, 2021. That is up from 1.719 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 73,620 cwt of potatoes during the week ending January 16, 2021. That is up from 56,040 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 83.5% Russets, 8.3% Round White potatoes, and 8.3% Yellow varieties.
Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $12.00-$12.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $9.00-$9.50 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for $13.00-$14.00 per 50# box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average shipping point price for new-crop Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $13.10 per cwt, down from $13.22 per cwt a week ago.
In the Red River Valley size-A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly $26.00 per cwt in 2000# totes, up from $25.00-$26.00 per cwt a week ago.
Maine packers are selling 2 inch minimum Round White 10/5# film bags for $11.00-$11.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago.