Market Report October 7th, 2020

News Category: Market Reports
Potato truck

Chip potato markets are extremely quiet. Chip companies are running plants almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Movement is steady. The transition from field delivery to storage contracts is on schedule. Northeastern growing areas will not have enough potatoes to fill storage contracts this year, but observers believe that the industry will be able to manage around that shortfall. Solids on this year’s crop are below average, which may result in storage supplies moving faster than usual.
Seed supplies for the early 2021 chip potato crop may be tight. Seed potato crops in Maine and New Brunswick are extremely small, due to this summer’s drought. Some observers believe that fusarium will be a problem with those potatoes, due to extremely dry conditions during harvest. The biggest issue is likely to be with Atlantic seed supplies.
The North American potato harvest is advancing rapidly. Several growing areas already have finished digging this year’s crop. More will be finishing by this weekend. The harvest should be over for most remaining areas by the end of next week. Exceptions will be the Columbia Basin, where processors will continue to use field delivery potatoes through the end of October, and PEI where harvest just ramped up this week. Crops are reasonably good in most growing areas, though Michigan growers have been disappointed with yields on this year’s crop, and as extended drought in Maine, New Brunswick, and PEI has done serious damage to crops in those areas. On the other hand, we are finding very few indications of bumper potato crops anywhere in North America.
US packers shipped 1.762 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending October 3, 2020. That is up from 1.558 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 41,100 cwt of potatoes during the week ending October 3, 2020. That is up from 35,900 cwt during the same week in 2019. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 88.1% Russets, 5.8% Round White potatoes and 6.1% Red potatoes.
Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $9.00-$10.00 per 50# bales unchanged from last week. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for mostly $12.00-$14.00 per 50# box, down from $12.00-$15.00 per box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for new-crop Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $15.61 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, down from $12.00-$13.00 per bale a week ago.