Chip potato markets are extremely quiet. Plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes, with a mix of storage potatoes and new-crop supplies, depending upon location. Supplies are plentiful. Storage supplies in Michigan and Wisconsin are expected to last well into June. A few chip companies are notifying growers that they are releasing a portion of their contract potatoes, because they will be unable to use them. That could lead to distressed sales or force the growers to discard the late releases in some other way.
Dealers are reporting some issues with Florida potatoes breaking down in transit. The potatoes may have been too warm (daytime temperatures have been exceeding 90º F in recent days), or the tubers might be overmature at harvest.
Planting and crop development still appears to be running ahead of normal despite the recent cold snap. With storage supplies backing up, coordinating harvest and delivery of potatoes from various growing area could be challenging during the next 3-4 months. Truck supplies are extremely tight, which adds to the complications facing both growers and their customers.
US packers shipped 1.587 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending May 1, 2021. That is up from 1.559 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 43,244 cwt of potatoes during the week ending May 1, 2021. That is down from 49,000 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 72.9% Russets, 18.7% Round White potatoes. 6.2% Yellow varieties, and 2.1% Red potatoes.
Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for $12.00-$12.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $8.00-$9.00 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for mostly $13.00-$14.00 per 50# box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $13.09 per cwt, up from $12.90 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 $18.25-$20.70 per 50# carton, unchanged for the week.
Florida packers are selling 50# cartons of size A Round White new-crop potatoes for $22.25-$22.70 per box, unchanged from last week.