Widespread wet weather is dominating chip potato markets this week. Buyers are scrambling to find enough potatoes to fill orders. Plants are happy to get their orders filled. Normal preferences for suppliers and size are of little concern. Rains have slowed harvest in Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Harvest has moved north to Massachusetts and Maine. Chip plants are running on contract potatoes, except when rains make that impossible, but nobody seems to be aware of open market purchases.
Yields have been disappointing on early potatoes in Michigan. That may be because growers are digging potatoes that have no potential for growth, before they get into later crops. However, it follows a pattern that persisted through harvests, for crops further to the south. The southwest Michigan harvest is further-advanced, but yields in that part of the state are still disappointing.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending August 18, 2018 totaled 1.638 million cwt. That is down from 1.934 million cwt during the same period in 2017. Michigan packers shipped 2,500 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending August 18. During the same week in 2017 Michigan packers shipped 17,000 cwt of fresh potatoes. All of last week’s shipments from the state were Round White potatoes. However, the Russet harvest is getting under way this week, as weather permits.
Wisconsin packers are selling Size A Russets in 10# bags for $9.00-$9.50 per 50# bale (First Report). They are selling 40-70 count cartons for mostly $17.00-$18.00 per 50# box (First Report). The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Norkotahs is $17.10per cwt. That is down from $18.09 per cwt a year ago.
Delaware packers are selling 50# bags of Round White potatoes for $8.75-$10.75 per bag, down from $10.75 per bag a week ago.