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August 16, 2017 Market Report

North American Potato Market News  | Published on 8/16/2017

Michigan chip potato movement is starting to pick up. Chip companies are running about a week behind on running contract potatoes, which could result in some field delivery contracts being converted to storage contracts toward the end of harvest. Michigan crop quality is excellent, with good size. Yields are about average for this time of the year.

USDA estimates summer potato production at 20.25 million cwt. That is 646,000 cwt more than the 2016 crop, a 3.3% increase. The government found 2,400 acres more summer potatoes than it reported at the end of June. That included an extra 900 acres in Illinois, and 2,000 more acres in Texas. Those increases were partially offset by reductions of 100 acres in Kansas, 300 acres in Missouri and 100 acres in New Jersey. Production is believed to have increased in all summer growing areas except Virginia. We are not sure that the Virginia estimate is accurate. Shipments of both fresh and chip potatoes from that state both exceed movement from the state’s 2016 crop.

US fresh potato shipments for the week ending August 12, 2017 totaled 1.756 million cwt. That is down from 1.772 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2016. There are no Michigan shipments reported for last week, though we understand that light shipments are now under way. This year’s US shipments include more Red and Yellow potatoes, but fewer Russets than last year.

Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for $8.00=$8.50 per 50# bale (First Report). Wisconsin 40-70 count cartons are selling for $20.00-$21.50 per box (First Report). The weighted average price for Idaho Norkotahs (2017 crop) $23.97 per cwt, up from $23.11 per cwt last week at the same time. In contrast, a year ago the weighted average shipping price for Idaho Norkotahs was $15.97 per cwt, and headed lower.

Delaware packers are selling size A Round White potatoes for $9.75 per 50# bag.

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