Weekly Potato Report

Michigan Potato Industry Commission
April 15, 2015

Growers are planting potatoes in most northern growing areas, with the exception of Maine. Planting is on schedule in the upper Midwest, and ahead of schedule in the Pacific Northwest. Reports indicate that potato crops in Missouri and North Carolina are still developing behind schedule. However, weather has improved, allow-ing those crops an opportunity to do some catching up.

Chip plants continue to run primarily on contract potatoes. Supplies of storage potatoes are adequate, and appear to be delivering without serious quality problems. The central Florida harvest is advancing. Growers in that area have a large crop of good-quality potatoes. The north Florida crop may be ready to harvest before the industry needs the potatoes. Chip companies may try to push back the start of that harvest, in hopes of covering the transition from Florida to North Carolina and Missouri.

Canada had 41.2 million cwt of potatoes in storage on April 1. That is 595,000 cwt fewer potatoes than it held at the same time, in 2014. That is a 1.4% reduction. The stocks include 2.14 million cwt of potatoes in Ontar-io. That is down from 2.42 million cwt last year at this time. Between them, Ontario and Quebec held 1.87 million cwt of chip potatoes on April 1. That is 410,000 cwt less than they held a year ago, an 18.0% decline. The decline in stocks suggests a likelihood that the country will be buying more US chip potatoes than it did last year, during the May-July period.

US fresh potato shipments for the week ending April 11, 2015 totaled 1.900 million cwt. That is up from 1.897 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2014. Michigan shipments for the week ending April 11 totaled 40,500 cwt, up from 33,780 cwt during the same week last year. The Michigan shipments were 64.7% Russets, 26.7% Round White varieties, and 8.6% Yellow potatoes.

Michigan shippers are selling Size A Russets for $1.50-$1.70 per 10# bag, unchanged from last week at this time. Wisconsin packers are selling baled 10# bags of size A Russets for mostly $5.50-$6.00 per bale, un-changed from last week at this time. They are selling 40-70 count cartons for mostly $14.00-$15.00 per 50# box, up from $13.00-$13.50 a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Norkotahs is $12.48 per cwt, up from $12.42 per cwt a week ago.

Michigan shippers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $1.50-$1.65 per 10# bag, unchanged from this time last week. Maine packers are selling baled 10/5# bags of 2” minimum Round White potatoes for mostly $7.50-$8.00 per bale, unchanged for the week. New-crop Florida Size A Round White are selling for mostly $18.50-$18.75 per 50# sack, also unchanged for the week.

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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A New Place for Potatoes