Consumers, Fresh/ Table, North America, Storage, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

Fresh potato sales somewhat slow in the US, but shippers not worried

Capital Press reports that the amount of potatoes held in storage rose slightly in the past year. USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reported the 13 major potato-production states held 214 million hundredweight in storage on Feb. 1, up 3 percent from a year earlier. Potatoes in storage accounted for 51 percent of the fall storage states’ 2018 production, unchanged from the previous year.

Potato disappearance, at 206 million hundredweight as of Feb. 1, was up 4 percent. Season-to-date shrink and loss, at 17.1 million hundredweight, was up 9 percent.

“Right now it’s a little slow, which is not unusual for February,” Jim McBride, sales manager at Mart Produce, a Rupert, Idaho, packer and shipper of fresh potatoes told Capital Press. “After February, things start to pick up with a little better demand. Movement will be a little slow in February and will start picking up in March.”

The statistics are useful, but buyers can gauge supply by the volume of sales calls they receive, he said. “A lot of people like to predict, but the market dictates what’s out there. The numbers are saying we have plenty of potatoes. That can change if processors buy some from the fresh market, for example.”

Randy Hardy, board chairman at Sun Valley Potatoes in Rupert, said movement, though slower than usual in February, has been “decent” and in line with expectations. The company continues to run full-day work shifts.

Read the full story on Capital Press

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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