Weekly Potato Report

Michigan Potato Industry Commission
November 25, 2015

Chip potato markets are quiet ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Movement is steady. Most chip companies are taking contract potatoes on schedule, but growers would like to see movement pick up. At the current pace, it will take until mid-June to use the available storage supplies, if they ever clean up. So far, the weather has cooperated, but growers will want to clear temporary storages as quickly as possible.

Canadian potato production increased by 4.2 million cwt this year, to 104.8 million cwt. Most of the extra potatoes are targeted for frozen processing. Ontario’s crop actually fell 255,000 short of 2014 production, to 7.97 million cwt. That probably includes a reduction in the province’s chip potato crop. However, chip potato production increased in Quebec and New Brunswick. The large supply of chip potatoes in the US probably will limit sales of open chip potatoes into the US market. Therefore, we suspect that Canadian chip plants will need to import even fewer new-crop potatoes in 2016 than they did this year.

US fresh potato shipments for the week ending November 21, 2015 totaled 2.604 million cwt. That is up from 2.583 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2014. Michigan shipments for the week ending November 21, totaled 75,855 cwt, up from 75,090 cwt during the same week in 2014. The Michigan shipments 76.3% Russets, 19.5% Round White potatoes, 3.6% Yellow varieties, and 0.7% fingerlings.

Michigan size A Russets are selling for $1.60-$1.95 per 10 lb bag, unchanged from last week at this time. Wisconsin packers are selling Size A Russets in 10# film bags for mostly $6.00-$6.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from this time last week. They are selling 40-70 count cartons for mostly $9.00 per 50# box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Norkotahs is $12.24 per cwt, down from $12.63 per cwt a week ago.

USDA reports that Michigan size A Round White potatoes are selling for mostly $1.60-$1.70 per 10# bag, unchanged from last week. Maine 2 inch minimum Round White potatoes are selling for $7.00-$7.50 per 10/5# bale, unchanged for the week. Long Island shippers are selling baled 5# size A Round White potatoes for mostly $8.00-$8.50 per 50# bale, also unchanged from last week at this time.



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Higher Hopes Happy Thanksgiving