Market Report October 28th, 2020

News Category: Market Reports
Potato truck

Chip potato markets are quiet. Movement is steady with chip plants running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Michigan growers still have a few potatoes left to harvest. While cold weather has slowed the process, weather forecasts are not predicting any season-ending event that will prevent the remaining potatoes from being harvested. 
Chip companies are starting to show interest in contracting for extra early potatoes in 2021. Getting seed to plant spring and summer potatoes will be challenging. Growers in Maine and New Brunswick cut back on Atlantic seed this year’s due to last year’s experience. Yields on seed crops in those growing areas could be down more than 40%. In addition, we are receiving reports of extremely high levels of fusarium in the seed that was harvested. Wisconsin did increase its Atlantic seed area by 66 acres, but that will not be sufficient to offset the losses in Maine and New Brunswick. Growers will find enough seed to plant their crops, but they will have to accept seed for unproven varieties, and perhaps with substandard quality.
US packers shipped 1.762 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending October 24, 2020. That is up from 1.745 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 56,500 cwt of potatoes during the week ending October 24, 2020. That is up from 35,200 cwt during the same week in 2019. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 87.6% Russets, 6.2% Round White potatoes, 5.5% Red potatoes and 0.7% 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 $9.00-$10.00 per 50# bale unchanged from last week. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for mostly $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 $15.60 per cwt. That is down from $15.71 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.