Strong chip potato movement continues. Potato chip demand is likely to remain strong for as long as public health actions continue to restrict access to away-from-home venues. Chip plants continue to run primarily on contract potatoes. Negotiations on early-season contracts for 2021 are getting under way. The biggest concern is finding seed for the 2021 crop. Growers will find seed to plant, but the quality may be substandard, and they may be planting varieties that are unproven in their growing areas.
The next several weeks will be a busy time for government reports on 2020 potato crops and supplies. USDA will issue its first 2020 potato crop estimate on Monday, November 10. That will be followed by a stocks report on December 17. Canada’s crop production report has been delayed until December 11. It will be followed shortly by that country’s December 1 potato stocks report.
US packers shipped 1.698 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending October 31, 2020. That is up from 1.684 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 55,550 cwt of potatoes during the week ending October 31, 2020. That is down from 56,400 cwt during the same week in 2019. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 85.4% Russets, 10.3% Round White potatoes, 2.9% Red potatoes and 1.4% Yellow varieties.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for $12.50-$13.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $8.50-$9.50 per 50# bale, down from $9.00-$10.00 a week ago. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for $12.00-$14.00 per 50# box, unchanged for the week. The weighted average shipping point price for new-crop Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $15.42 per cwt. That is down from $15.60 per cwt a week ago.
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.