Chip potato markets are quiet. Buyers are acting as if they have plenty of storage potatoes to carry them through the season. Movement has been slightly below what dealers would like to see.
Crop conditions in north Florida are spotty. Heavy rains in the Hastings area forced growers to replant some crops, while fields within a few miles of the washouts came through without any problem. Nevertheless, losses on crops that had to be replanted are likely to hold down this year’s average yield for the north Florida crop.
Storage chip potato contracts for the 2021 crop are mostly settled and signed. Overall volumes and prices are flat, but there may have been some shuffling of business between growers. The tail end of North Carolina’s planting has been delayed by recent rains, but overall planting continues to progress, Southwest Michigan growers could start to plant potatoes as early as next Monday (March 22) though it is likely to be the following week before planting becomes general in that part of the state.
US packers shipped 1.757 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending March 13, 2021. That is down from 1.867 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 63,222 cwt of potatoes during the week ending March 13, 2021. That is down from 66,720 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 70.8% Russets, 24.6% Yellow varieties, and 4.6% Round White potatoes.
Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $12.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. 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 $11.91 per cwt, down from $11.92 per cwt last week.
In the Red River Valley, size-A Yellow potatoes are selling for $26.00-$29.00 per cwt in 2000# totes, compared with mostly $28.00 per cwt a week ago. Florida new-crop size A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly $20.70-$23.25 per 50# carton, down from $22.70-$25.25 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 $22.70-$23.25 per box, down from $26.25-$26.75 per box a week ago.