Weekly Potato Report

Michigan Potato Industry Commission
May 27, 2015

Chip potato markets are quiet. Buyers are showing little interest in open market purchases, as manufacturers fill plants almost exclusively with contract potatoes. At least one large company will take another two weeks to clean up its storage contracts. Chip manufacturers are juggling deliveries to accommodate both storage and new crop commitments. Heavy rains have curtailed harvest at Pearsall, Texas from time to time, but that does not appear to have created any logistical problems, so far.

Chip companies have been chewing through the Florida potato crop rapidly, due to low solids, but they appear to have plenty of potatoes for their needs. We are picking up concerns that weather conditions in North Carolina and Missouri also could result in below-average solids. If so, that could allow those crops to clean up somewhat earlier than currently anticipated.

Michigan planting is proceeding in schedule, though rain has caused some delays this week. More rain is in the forecast for the weekend. Some of the larger growers still have 25%-35% of their crop left to plant.

US fresh potato shipments for the week ending May 23, 2015 totaled 1.936 million cwt. That is down from 1.951 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2014. Michigan shipments for the week ending May 23 totaled 43,220 cwt, up from 24,800 cwt during the same week last year. The Michigan shipments were 73.4% Russets, 25.7% Round White varieties, and 0.9% Yellow potatoes.

Michigan shippers are selling Size A Russets for $1.40-$1.60 per 10# bag, down from $1.45-$1.60 at this time last week. Wisconsin packers are selling baled 10# bags of size A Russets for mostly $5.00-$5.50 per bale, unchanged from this time last week. They are selling 40-70 count cartons for mostly $14.00 per 50# box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Burbanks is $12.44 per cwt. That is up from $1242 per cwt a week ago.

Michigan shippers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $1.40-$1.65 per 10# bag, down from $1.50-$1.65 last week at this time. New-crop Florida Size A Round White are selling for mostly $10.75 per 50# sack, down from $9.75-$12.75 at this time last 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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