Market Report October 5th, 2022

News Category: Market Reports
potato truck

North America’s fall potato harvest is moving forward. The major growing areas have had favorable harvest conditions. Michigan’s harvest appears to be a little behind schedule. Thunderstorms on Thursday could slow down digging this week. The chip potato market remains quiet. Plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Growers are focused on getting the 2022 crop under cover.

USDA has revised 2021 potato production data for the 13 reporting states, including Michigan. Production exceeded the January estimate in five of those states, while it declined in the other eight states. USDA reduced its estimate of last year’s harvested area by 12,100 acres, to 923,600 acres. That was offset by a 6 cwt increase in the national average yield, to 444 cwt per acre. The US 2021 potato crop is now estimated at 409.83 million cwt. That exceeds the previous estimate by only 158,000 cwt. However, it remains 10.19 million cwt or 2.4% below the 2020 crop.

For Michigan, USDA reports that growers harvested 45,000 acres of potatoes in 2021. That is 1,500 acres less than the January estimate. That reduction was partially offset by a 10 cwt increase in the state’s yield estimate, to 430 cwt per acre, which is the largest yield on record. The changes trimmed the state’s 2021 crop estimate by 180,000 cwt, to 19.35 million cwt. However, Michigan’s 2021 production exceeded 2020 production by 1.80 million cwt, or 10.3%. That production increase may be overstated. The state’s combined shipments of table and chip potatoes from the 2021 crop fell 3.2% short of year-earlier movement.

US packers shipped 1.524 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending October 1, 2022. That is down from 1.676 million cwt shipped a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 15,300 cwt of potatoes during the week ending October 1, 2022. That is down from 38,300 cwt during the same week in 2021. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 69.9% Russets, 22.2% Round White potatoes, and 7.8% Yellow potatoes. 

Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $14.00-$15.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $21.00-$30.00 per 50# box, down from $30.00-$35.00 per 50# box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $28.93 per cwt. That is down from $31.20 per cwt a week ago.

Big Lake and Central Minnesota packers are selling 2000# tote bags of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $22.00-$25.00 per cwt, down from $25.00 per cwt last week. Wisconsin packers are selling 10/5# bales of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $16.00-$19.00 per bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling 50# cartons of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $16.00-$19.00 per 50# box, also unchanged.