Chip potato business is extremely slow. Plants are having a difficult time sourcing oil and packaging. Transportation continues to be a challenge, though labor appears to be a major factor causing the processing slowdown. Reports indicate that plants have had to shut down lines due to an unreliable workforce. As a result, some chip plants are behind on their contracts. Growers have delayed harvest and potatoes are getting too big in some fields.
Chip potato movement from most states is behind the 2020 pace. Michigan’s chip potato shipments are expected to pick up this week. Chip potato movement is expected to increase this week in Maine, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
US packers shipped 1.712 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending August 28, 2021. That is up from 1.479 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 18,750 cwt of potatoes during the week ending August 28, 2021. That is up from 13,237 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were all Russets.
Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $8.00-$9.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $20.00-$24.00 per 50# box, unchanged from a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for new-crop Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $22.01 per cwt, up from $21.94 per cwt last week.
Delaware packers are selling 2000# tote bags of size A Round White potatoes for $16.50-$18.50 per cwt, unchanged from a week ago.
Big Lake and Central Minnesota packers are selling 2000# tote bags of size A Yellow potatoes for $20.00-$26.00 per cwt, unchanged from last week. Delaware packers are selling 2000# tote bags of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $34.50 per cwt, also unchanged.