The chip potato market is extremely quiet. Dealers are showing no interest in open chip potatoes, though there may be some trading between growers, to cover those who came up short on their contracts. We still here concerns about the storability of this year’s crop, but chip companies are counting on enough storage potatoes to carry northern plants into June.
Central Florida contract prices and volumes have been set for the 2018 crop. Contract prices are unchanged from last year, but contract volumes are lower than they were for the 2016 crop – way lower than they were for 2017. Chip companies are determined to cut back their reliance on early-season production as much as possible. That is due not only to the high cost of raw product – due both to high fob pricing and the high cost of freight – but also due to concerns about having enough trucks available to move the potatoes in a timely manner.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending December 6, 2017 totaled 1.673 million cwt. That is down from 1.895 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2016. Michigan packers shipped 53,470 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending December 2.. That is up from 44,680 cwt a year earlier. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 85.8% Russet potatoes, 5.0% Yellow potatoes, 6.9% Round White varieties, 1.3% Reds, and 0.9% fingerlings.
Michigan packers are selling 10# bags of Size A Russet potatoes for $1.60-$1.80 per bag, unchanged from last week. Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for mostly $7.00-$7.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week at this time. Wisconsin 50-70 count cartons are selling for mostly $12.00-$13.00 per box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average price for Idaho Norkotahs is $17.34 per cwt, up from $17.08 per cwt a week ago.
Michigan packers are selling 10/5# bags of Round White potatoes for $9.00-$11.00 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. Long Island packers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $8.00-$8.25 per 50# sack, unchanged for the week. They are selling Chefs for $9.00-$9.50 per 50# sack, also unchanged. Maine shippers are selling 5/10# bags of 2” min Round White potatoes for $9.00-$9.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week at this time.