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Potatoes USA: Exports show strong growth

Exports of U.S. potatoes and products show strong growth through the first six months of the July 2019 – June 2020 marketing year, Potatoes USA says in a press release issued earlier today.

According to the organization, exports of frozen potato products are up 11% to 551,338 metric tons valued at $643 million. Dehydrated potato exports are up 10% to 94,608 MT valued at $209 million while fresh potato exports, for direct consumption as well as processing, are up 9% to 270,865 MT valued at $132 million.

The growth in frozen exports was led by a 19% increase to the second-largest market, Mexico. Much of this growth has to do with the removal of the retaliatory 20% tariff imposed in 2018 and removed in June 2019.

The continued growth of 3% in exports to Japan, the largest market, is very important to the overall figures, Potatoes USA says. There has also been very strong growth to the Philippines at 32%, Thailand at 25%, Vietnam at 18%, and Central America at 11%. The growth in exports to Vietnam faces future hurdles as the EU is in the process of ratifying a free trade agreement with Vietnam, which will eliminate the 13% tariff applied to the U.S. and EU products.

U.S. exports of dehydrated potatoes benefited from steady growth to most markets, with increases of 16% to the largest market, Japan, and 7% to Mexico leading the way. A decline in exports of 12% to Malaysia is of concern.

Fresh potato exports for processing into fries (mainly in Canada) and potato chips in Asia, as well as table-stock use in some markets, had more uneven growth.

Exports to the second-largest market, Mexico, were down 7% while exports to Canada, the largest market, were up 21%. Tight supplies and strong demand in the U.S. could reduce the amounts going to Canada, as seen by the 5% decline for December.

There was strong growth in exports to Malaysia at 48%, the Philippines at 89%, Taiwan at 18% and, Thailand at 33%. But exports to Korea saw a 55% decline as domestic production there rebounded from the previous year, while Central America as a whole recorded a 4% drop.

Source: Potatoes USA

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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