Studies/Reports, Trends

GAIN Report on China’s potatoes and potato products released

The Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) released its latest report, entitled “China – Potatoes and Potato Products Annual”. In the report the authors note that China was boosting its potato production and consumption to transform the crop into the country’s fourth major “grain”: after rice, wheat and corn, planning to expand potato acreage to 10 million hectares by 2020 from the current 5.3 million hectares without using land currently utilized for rice, wheat and corn production. Forecasts suggest that China’s fresh potato production for MY2015/16 will reach 98 million metric tons (MMT), a 3 percent increase from the 95 MMT in MY2014/15 due to an expansion of the potato crop area. China’s MY2015/16 frozen french fry production is forecast at 210,000 MT, a 17 percent increase from the estimated 180,000 MT in MY2014/15 because new production capacity is expected to run in the new marketing season. China’s potato consumption will continue to increase in the coming years. Continued urbanization and resulting increasing number of fast food restaurants, the major market channel for FFF, will underpin consumption growth. Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chains have been the largest buyers of frozen potato products in China, along with hotels, restaurants, and bars. Industry sources believe that third-tier cities represent great potential for frozen french fry consumption because after 20 years of rapid expansion, western fast food outlets have saturated first/second-tier cities while consumers in the third-tier have less exposure to fast food outlets but are adopting similar food consumption habits as their peers in more developed cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Full Report

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