Canada held a record 57.05 million cwt of potatoes in storage on March 1. That is 974,000 cwt more than the 2022 inventory, a 1.7% increase. While March 1 holdings exceeded year-earlier levels in PEI and Manitoba, Alberta held 81.6% of the extra potatoes. The largest percentage gain is in seed potatoes, which are up 7.2% from last year. Processing potato inventories are up 2.3%, while stocks intended for table potato sales are down 4.1%.
Canadian chip potato usage appears to have picked up during February, both in Ontario and in Quebec. February processing use exceeded the 2022 pace in Ontario and Quebec by 10.7% and 54.0%, respectively. Ontario had 2.56 million cwt of chip potatoes in storage on March 1. That is 378,000 cwt less than the province held a year earlier, a 12.8% decline. However, it is the second-largest March 1 inventory on record. It is 263,000 cwt, or 11.4%, more than the five-year average chip potato supply. At the February usage rate, Ontario’s storage chip potato supplies would last until the end of July. That is when Ontario starts to harvest its chip potato crop. That leaves little room for imported chip potatoes. Though we do not have precise data on Quebec’s chip potato inventory, total February 1 processing stocks are 356,000 cwt, or 15.5%, larger than the five-year average inventory.
U.S. packers shipped 1.696 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending March 11. That is down from 1.711 million cwt shipped a year earlier. Michigan’s reported shipments totaled 64,500 cwt of potatoes during the week ending March 11. That is up from 57,800 cwt during the same week in 2022. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 72.1% russets, 18.8% red potatoes, and 9.1% round white potatoes.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A russets in 10-pound bags for mostly $16-$17 per 50-pound bale, unchanged from last week. Wisconsin packers are selling size A russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $14.50-$15.50 per 50-pound bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $26-$32 per 50-pound box, also unchanged. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $35.49 per cwt. That is up from $35.30 per cwt a week ago.
Red River Valley packers are selling size A yellow potatoes in 2,000-pound tote bags for mostly $26-$28per cwt, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling yellow creamers in 50-pound sacks for mostly $30, also unchanged. Florida packers are selling 50-pound cartons of size A yellow new-crop potatoes for $25.95-$30.25 per box, unchanged from last week. They are selling yellow creamers in 50-pound cartons for $45.25-$50.95 per box, up from $45.25-$46.00 per box a week ago.
Florida packers are selling 50-pound cartons of size A Round White new-crop potatoes for $38.25-$40.95 per box, unchanged from last week. They are selling round white creamers in 50-pound cartons for $45.95-$50.95 per box, also unchanged
– Report by North American Potato Market News