Chip potato movement is steady. Plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Chip companies are running into color issues because they need potatoes before they have had time to recondition. That should be a temporary issue, but it has resulted in some shifts in volume between growers and between growing areas.
Chip companies are in negotiations with Florida growers. Both sides would like to wrap up discussions as soon as possible, to allow growers to secure seed supplies. We expect that Florida contract volumes will go up as the result of strong demand and limited storage potato supplies in eastern growing areas, but no volumes have been settled so far.
Quebec is reporting that it had 9.59 million cwt of potatoes in storage on November 1, down from 9.93 million cwt a year earlier, a 3.4% decline. However, some Quebec growers are still trying to salvage potatoes that have experienced server frost damage (between 30%-50% tuber damage) so inventory adjustments may need to be made next month. The Quebec potato stocks include 1.65 million cwt of chip potatoes. That is 209,000 cwt more than the year-earlier inventory, a 14.5% increase. The largest inventory reduction came in the frozen processing sector, with supplies down 20.7% from last year.
US packers shipped 2.271 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending November 14, 2020. That is up from 2.169 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 88,790 cwt of potatoes during the week ending November 14, 2020. That is up from 72,640 cwt during the same week in 2019. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 86.3% Russets, 7.7% Round White potatoes, 4.7% Yellow varieties and 1.4% Red potatoes.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $12.00-$13.00 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $8.50-$9.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for $12.00-$14.00 per 50# box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average shipping point price for new-crop Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $15.40 per cwt, unchanged from last week at the same time.
Wisconsin packers are selling 10/5# bales of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $18.00-$19.00 per bale, unchanged from last week.
Long Island baled 10/5# size A Round White potatoes are selling for mostly $12.00-$12.50 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. Maine packers are selling 2 inch minimum Round White 10/5# film bags for $11.00-$11.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week.