Chip potato movement is slow. Dealers indicate that plants need fewer potatoes to make chips, because solids are up 15-20 points from last year. Yields are up from last year in most eastern growing areas, which is adding to the current oversupply situation. Markets are extremely quiet, as a result of the current supply conditions.
While the storage harvest is under way, high temperatures will limit activity for the next 3-5 days. Based on the ten-day forecast, it could be next Wednesday before daytime temperatures will drop to levels that will allow harvest to move forward, unimpeded by heat.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending September 16, 2017 totaled 2.173 million cwt. That is up from 1.998 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2016. Michigan packers shipped 42,525 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending September 16. That is down from 44,632 cwt a year earlier. This week’s Michigan shipments were 85.4% Russets, 7.5% Round White potatoes, 6.3% Red potatoes, and 0.7% Yellow varieties. After the most recent revisions, season-to-date shipments are only 541 cwt below year-earlier movement.
Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for $6.75-$7.00 per 50# bale, down from $7.00-$7.50 per bale on September 7. Wisconsin 40-70 count cartons are selling for $14.00-$16.00 per box, down from $18.00-$20.00 per box a week ago. The weighted average price for Idaho Norkotahs is $16.31 per cwt, down from $20.79 per cwt two weeks ago.
Long Island packers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $8.50-9.00 per 50# sack, unchanged for the last two weeks. They report a few sales of Chefs for $10.75-$11.00 per 50# sack, also unchanged. Delaware packers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $8.75-$9.25 per 50# sack, up from $8.75 two weeks ago.