Growers in southwest Michigan are expected to finish planting this week. Approximately one-third of the potatoes have been planted in central Michigan. Chip potato movement is steady. Plants are running on a mix of new-crop potatoes and storage supplies. Storage inventories will be cleaning up over the next four weeks. New-crop potatoes from North Carolina should be ready by the second week of June. US manufacturers have been importing a substantial volume of good quality chip potatoes from Canada.
Canada reports that it had 34.34 million cwt of potatoes in storage on May 1. That is 6.90 million cwt more than the year-earlier inventory, a 25.2% increase. Large chip potato inventories in Ontario and Quebec should be adequate to carry the Canadian chip industry through the storage season. Ontario had 2.37 million cwt of potatoes left in storage on May 1. This year’s stocks exceeded the 2021 inventory by 660,000 cwt, or 38.6%. Intended use data show a 527,000 cwt increase in chip potato stocks, to 1.88 million cwt, a 38.8% increase. Quebec had 4.46 million cwt of potatoes in storage on May 1. This year’s stocks exceeded the year-earlier holdings by 1.64 million cwt, or 58.1%. Processing stocks (chip and frozen) rose by 745,000 cwt, or 56.4%.
US packers shipped 1.534 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending May 7, 2022. That is down from 1.620 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 38,000 cwt of potatoes during the week ending May 7, 2022. That is up from 28,400 cwt during the same week in 2021. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 96.5% Russets and 3.5% Yellow potatoes.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $11.00-$12.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $10.50-$11.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $18.00-$19.00 per 50# box, also unchanged. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $21.74 per cwt, up from $21.45 per cwt last week.