Chip potato markets are quiet. Chip companies are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Some companies are lagging on drawing down contracts. Reports indicate that there is little push for increased volumes in southern growing areas. While seed for chip potato varieties is tight it appears that growers will be able to find acceptable seed, though it might not be a preferred variety. Atlantic seed will be particularly short, due to acreage cuts and low yields in both Maine and New Brunswick.
Contract prices and volumes in North Florida are close to 2020 levels. Growers had been expecting increased volumes. They are disappointed with what they have seen so far. Chip companies appear to be convinced that they will have enough storage potatoes available to carry the industry into the summer months.
Potato Expo 2021 is taking place virtually this week. Sessions will be available online for a full year, which may be reducing the urgency to view them live. While Expo is providing opportunities for live networking, we are not sure how much attendees are taking advantage of that opportunity.
US packers shipped 1.297 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending January 2, 2021. That is down from 1.396 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 44,525 cwt of potatoes during the week ending January 2, 2021. That is down from 65,200 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 75.2% Russets, 10.6% Round White potatoes, 13.1% Yellow varieties, and 1.0% Red potatoes.
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 $13.43 per cwt, down from $13.73 per cwt a week ago.
In the Red River Valley size A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly $24.00-$26.00 per cwt in 2000# totes, up from $24.00-$25.00 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.