Weekly Potato Report

Michigan Potato Industry Commission
September 2, 2015

Heat in areas east of the Rocky Mountains has put plans to store potatoes on hold. Temperatures are expected to cool down next week, which should allow the storage harvest to gain momentum. Growers are expecting good crops in growing areas east of the Rocky Mountains, but problems in Pacific Northwest growing areas might hold the 2015 fall potato crop below 2014 production. Solids appear to be above average in chip potato growing areas east of the Rocky Mountains. That is boosting recovery rates, and could extend the length of the storage season, as long as the storage potatoes can hold their quality.

Reports on chip movement are mixed, this week. Wisconsin is reporting strong shipments, but other areas would like to see volume pick up, in order to clear field-delivery contracts by the end of harvest. Some early growing areas indicate that they are having difficulty moving the last of their potatoes. Chip companies are relying on contract potatoes for virtually all of their needs. Most companies are on schedule, taking contracts, but there may be some slippage in that arena.

US fresh potato shipments for the week ending August 29, 2015 totaled 1.676 million cwt. That is down from 1.908 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2014. Michigan shipments for the week ending August 29, totaled 10,196 cwt, down from 20,338 cwt during the same week in 2014. The Michigan shipments 53.9% Round White potatoes and 43.1% Russets.

Wisconsin packers are selling Size A Russets in 10# film for mostly $6.00-$6.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from this time last week. They are selling 40-70 count cartons for $12.00-$13.00 per 50# box, down from $14.00 per box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Norkotahs is $12.58 per cwt, down from $13.84 per cwt a week ago. The Idaho price decline reflects a $5.00 per cwt drop in prices for 40-70 count cartons. The Idaho price for baled 10# film bags moved up by $0.50 per cwt, during the last week. Further strength in the consumer bag price is possible.

Delaware packers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for mostly $6.75 per 50# sack, unchanged from last week at this time. Delaware chefs are selling for mostly $7.75 per 50# bag, down from $8.75 at this time last week. Long Island shippers ae complaining that they are having traction getting into the market. USDA is not yet reporting Long Island prices.

This Weekly Potato Report includes current Michigan grower issues, in depth market news, and other time sensitive information. This report contains market sensitive information and your candor in using this information is appreciated.  Your comments and suggestions are vital to improving this report and other services.

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