Chip manufacturers continue to run plants almost exclusively on contract potatoes. We have picked up some concerns about the quality of potatoes currently being delivered. Some Snowdens have excessive pressure bruising. Companies are starting to switch to late-season varieties, that are expected to hold quality for longer in the season.
Buyers have been dragging their feet on new-crop potato contracts. Growers in North Carolina had to start taking seed deliveries before they had signed contracts. There has been some downward pressure on contract prices this year. North Carolina contracts are down $0.25 per cwt. Chip companies are pushing for similar reductions in Virginia. North Carolina growers lost their export business to Canada, because of abundance of storage potatoes in Ontario and Quebec, this year.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending March 3, 2018 totaled 1.719 million cwt. That is down from 1.881 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2017. Michigan packers shipped 41,680 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending March 3. That is down from 49,850 cwt a year earlier. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 72.2% Russet potatoes, 17.0% Round White potatoes, 10.1% Yellow varieties, and 0.7% Reds.
Michigan packers are selling 10# bags of Size A Russet potatoes for $1.70-$2.00 per bag, unchanged for the week. Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for mostly $8.00-8.50 per 50# bale, up from $7.50-$8.00 per bale a week ago. Wisconsin 40-70 count cartons are selling for mostly $14.00-$15.50 per box, up from $13.00-$15.00 at the same time last week. The weighted average price for Idaho Norkotahs is $13.61 per cwt, unchanged for the week...
Michigan packers are selling 10/5# bags of Round White potatoes for mostly $10.00-$11.00 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. Maine shippers are selling 5/10# bags of 2” min Round White potatoes for $9.00-$9.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week at this time. Florida growers are selling 50# cartons of Round White potatoes for mostly $18.50-$20.00 per box, up from $16.75-$18.50 per box a week ago