North America, Trends

US: Maintaining a balanced potato market in 2018

coins-1015125_1280Grower returns on russet table potatoes are exceeding production costs for the first time since the 2013 crop, according to Bruce Huffaker, Publisher, North American Potato Market News. Huffaker says that returns on red and yellow table potatoes also are respectable, though they are down from year-earlier levels. Processors are scrambling to find enough raw product to keep their customers supplied until the 2018 harvest gets underway. Chip potatoes are the only industry sector where demand for open potatoes appears to be limited. The challenge for the industry will be to maintain a reasonable balance between potato supplies and demand through the remainder of the 2017 crop year and throughout the 2018 crop year, says Huffaker. Does the industry have enough potatoes to maintain the current usage pace for the remainder of the 2017-crop storage season? Will processors overreact to this year’s production shortfall by contracting for too many potatoes from the 2018 crop? More

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