The chip potato market is quiet. Though buyers nosed around for potatoes after the Texas freeze, the largest buyer did not purchase any potatoes. Some regional players have been buying more potatoes while others have been turning back contract supplies. Storage supplies appear to be in a close balance with usage requirements; however, more storage issues are starting to surface. In addition, the early new-crop supply situation appears to be in flux.
Central Florida’s crop is on schedule. It has missed the major weather events that have impacted other growing areas. Acreage is unchanged from last year, and yields could be up. Harvest should begin late this month or early next month if chip companies are ready to take the potatoes.
Rains have plague crops in north Florida. Farms in the northern half of the Hastings District have picked up 7-10 inches of rain. The Texas freeze destroyed crops in the Rio Grande Valley, and set back crop development in the Pearsall area. In North Carolina, planting should be getting under way, but fields are too wet to work; however, the 10 day forecast is calling for dry weather and normal temperatures for that region.
US packers shipped 1.745 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending February 27, 2021. That is up from 1.515 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 59,755 cwt of potatoes during the week ending February 20, 2021. That is up from 58,450 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 71.8% Russets, 21.8% Yellow varieties, and 6.4% Round White 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 Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $12.35 per cwt, down from $12.59 per cwt last week.
In the Red River Valley size-A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly $26.00-$28.00 per cwt in 2000# totes, up from $26.00-$27.00 per cwt a week ago. Florida new-crop size A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly $25.25-$26.75 per 50# carton. FIRST REPORT.
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.