The chip potato deal remains quiet. Wet weather has put crops in north Florida and North Carolina behind normal. Florida growers have had to replant a lot of potatoes. Seed is extremely tight. Florida growers have pulled in seed from as far away as Alberta. Dealers are hopeful that demand for potato chips will pick up as the weather warms up this spring.
Canada reports that its March 1 potato stocks totaled 47.36 million cwt. That is down 3.24 million cwt from year-earlier holdings, a 6.4% decline. The country’s February disappearance fell 13.0% short of year-earlier movement, to 7.98 million cwt, as handlers are trying to stretch the remaining supplies to last through the normal storage season. Though stocks are down from last year, the largest impact appears to be in the table potato and frozen processing sectors. Evidence suggests that Canada’s chip potato supplies are up from last year. Ontario is reporting that it had 3.25 million cwt of potatoes left in storage on March 1. That is up 527,000 cwt from last year, including a 477,000 cwt increase in chip potato supplies. We do not yet have complete information on Quebec’s chip potato stocks, but on February 1 they were up from last year, and the province’s processing potato usage (including frozen processing usage) declined during February.
US packers shipped 1.780 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending March 6, 2021. That is up from 1.663 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 67,615 cwt of potatoes during the week ending March 6, 2021. That is up from 58,890 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 74.8% Russets, 20.6% Yellow varieties, 4.0% Round White potatoes, and 0.6% Red potatoes.
Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $12.50 per 50# bale, up from $12.00-$12.50 per bale 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 Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $11.92 per cwt, down from $12.35 per cwt last week.
In the Red River Valley size-A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly $28.00 per cwt in 2000# totes, up from $26.00-$28.00 per cwt a week ago. Florida new-crop size A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly$22.70-$25.25 per 50# carton, down from $25.25-$26.75 per carton 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. Florida packers are selling 50# cartons of size A Round White new-crop potatoes for $26.25-$26.75 per box, unchanged from last week.