US potatoes

US potato exports have continued to recover but remain behind previous year levels, according to a report published by PotatoPro.

Exports for the first six months of the marketing year, July – December 2020, are behind the record levels set in 2019. However, exports for October, November, and December are far less distressed than they were in the July – September period.

Fresh potato exports, made up of table-stock and chip-stock, were down by 3 per cent for those six months, but exports to the Potatoes US target markets were up by 6 per cent.

Japan, which is all chipping potatoes, now allows US exports on a year-round basis instead of a February – July window, according to PotatoPro.

This resulted in a 415 per cent growth as exports have been occurring in the fall for the first time. Exports to Korea have benefited from negotiated improvements in the import protocol for table-stock and are up by 58 per cent. Taiwan has benefited from increased demand, with exports up by 22 per cent.

One of the chip processors in Vietnam has begun regular imports of US chip-stock, adding to the 215 per cent increase in that market. The Philippines has suffered significantly from pandemic restrictions, and exports are down by 43 per cent.

Mexico, the second-largest market for fresh, has remained steady with a 3 per cent growth. Lastly, the largest market by far for US fresh potatoes, Canada, is down by 12 per cent but only saw a 1 per cent decline in December.