Weekly Potato Report
Michigan Potato Industry Commission
October 15, 2014
Wet weather continues to plague the Michigan chip potato harvest. Between 30%-35% of the central Michigan storage crop remains to be harvested. A few growers are trying to dig potatoes for field delivery contracts, but most are pulling potatoes out of storage to cover contract needs. Emptying storages will make room for late-harvested potatoes that may be in excess of storage capacity. Growers are hoping for a good week for harvest next week, but it will take all of October to get the crop under cover.
Chip companies are running primarily on contract potatoes. Most of the regional chip companies will not take all of their field delivery contracts this year. It appears that they over-contracted for their needs. Some may have taken advantage of open supplies to reduce their average raw product costs. The companies are complaining about stiff competition causing them to lose sales volume.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending October 11, 2014 totaled 1.924 million cwt. That is up from 1.719 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period in 2013. However, it is important to remember that the year-earlier week included the Columbus Day holiday, with only four business days. Michigan shipments for the week ending October 11 totaled 49,350 cwt, up from 4,100 cwt during the same week last year. The Michigan shipments were 90.9% Russets and 9.1% Round White varieties.
Wisconsin packers are selling baled 10# bags of size A Russets for mostly $6.00 per bale, unchanged from last week at this time. They are selling 40-80 count cartons for mostly $8.00-9.00 per 50# box, up from $8.00 a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price Idaho Norkotahs is $11.04 per cwt, up from $10.86 at this time last week.
Long Island shippers are selling 50# sacks of size A Round White potatoes for mostly $6.50-$7.00 per bag, up from $6.00-$7.00 at this time last week. Long Island Chefs are selling for $7.50-$8.00 per 50# bag, down from $8.50-$9.50 a week ago.
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