Strong demand for potatoes and potato products and tight domestic supplies continues to drive increases in imports for the current (July – June) marketing year, according to Potatoes USA.
The industry body says for July 2020 – March 2021 total imports are up 9%, led by an 18% increase in chips and a 15% increase in dehydrated potatoes. The two largest categories frozen and fresh potatoes are up 9% and 5% respectively, while seed potato imports are up 14%.
The leading supplier of frozen product, Canada with 86% market share, is up 8%. The next largest supplier, the EU with 11% market share is up 10%. The EU suppliers include Belgium up 19%, the Netherlands up 2%, Germany up 18%, France up 131% and Italy up 79%. The product from the EU is mainly made up of specialty frozen potato products sold at retail plus very low-end product sold to small scale restaurants. This can be seen in the difference in the value per metric ton between Canada $1030 and the EU $874.
Source: Potatoes USA