Market Report October 18, 2023

News Category: Market Reports
potato truck

Michigan’s potato storages are full. Some growers have left potatoes in the ground until they can find a home for them, or until the harvest window closes. The weather forecast calls for rain tonight through Saturday. However, the extended forecast is favorable. That may give growers the time they need to dig and move the tail-end of this year’s potato crop.

Wisconsin growers are nearly finished digging. Storage space is also tight there. Red River Valley growers should be able to wrap up this week. Chip potato supplies are plentiful in most growing areas. Business has been steady.

The Canadian potato harvest is nearly complete. Rain has slowed progress in PEI, New Brunswick, and Quebec — the only provinces with a substantial volume of potatoes left to harvest. North American Potato Market News (NAPMN) expects Canada to produce 125.1 million cwt of potatoes in 2023. That is 2.2 million cwt more than the country produced in 2022. If the forecast is accurate, this is Canada’s largest potato crop on record. Potato production in Ontario and Quebec is forecast to drop by 1.3 million cwt, or 5.7%. A large part of the reduction is chip potatoes. PEI’s chip potato supplies could be sufficient for local processing needs. Supplies could be tight in New Brunswick. Growers in the eastern provinces are concerned about the quality and storability of this year’s potato crop. Bumper crops and expanded acreage in Alberta and Manitoba have resulted in an oversupply of potatoes for frozen processing. Growers in those provinces have already disked several thousand acres, due to current market conditions and limited storage capacity.

U.S. packers shipped 1.616 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending Oct. 14. That is up from 1.375 million cwt shipped a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 53,050 cwt of potatoes during the week ending Oct. 14. That is up from 48,588 cwt during the same week in 2022. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 89.0% russets, 4.2% yellow potatoes, 4.2% red potatoes, and 2.5% round white potatoes.

Wisconsin packers are selling size A russet potatoes in 10-pound bags for mostly $12-$13 per 50-pound bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $14-$15.50 per 50-pound box, down from $15-$16 per 50-pound box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $18.09 per cwt, down from $18.29 per cwt last week.

Wisconsin packers are selling 10/5-pound bales of size A yellow potatoes for mostly $16-$16.50 per bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling 50-pound cartons of size A yellow potatoes for mostly $16-$16.50 per 50-pound box, also unchanged.

– Report by North American Potato Market News