North America, Promotion/Marketing, Trade/Markets/Prices

Potato power: U.S. sees notable rise in potato export values across multiple categories

In a remarkable show of agricultural prowess, U.S. potato exports have experienced a substantial increase in the third quarter of 2023 – July-September. According to a recent report issued by Potatoes USA, there has been an overall rise in export value across all types of potatoes – encompassing frozen, fresh, dehydrated, seed, and chips – when compared to the same period in the previous year.

The total dollar value of U.S. potato exports surged by 10.8%, reaching an impressive $607 million. Concurrently, the export volume saw a modest increase of 0.2%, amounting to 452,000 metric tons (fresh weight equivalent).

A significant contributor to this growth has been the fresh potato segment. Exports of fresh potatoes jumped by 10.4% in volume and 10.1% in dollar value during the July-September 2023 period. A notable highlight is the substantial growth in exports to Mexico, where fresh potato volume soared by 48.8%, an increase of over 17,300 metric tons from the previous year. This boom aligns with Mexico’s decision to fully open its market to U.S. fresh potato exports in May 2022.

However, it wasn’t all upward trends. Fresh potato exports to Canada and Taiwan experienced declines of 3.3% and 6%, respectively.

The frozen potato sector presented a mixed picture. While the total volume of frozen potato exports dropped by 8.6%, their value actually increased by 11.6%. Region-wise, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and the Philippines saw increases in volume by 3% and 5%, respectively. In contrast, notable decreases were observed in exports to Japan (20%), Malaysia (45%), and South Korea (27%).

Dehydrated potatoes also witnessed growth, with a 13.3% increase in volume and an 8.9% rise in dollar value. Central America and Japan were significant contributors, with volume increases of 34% and 20%, respectively. Yet, smaller markets like Taiwan and Thailand saw declines in exports, with Taiwan experiencing a steep 75% drop and Thailand a 38% decrease.

On the smaller scale of exports, potato chips and seed potatoes exhibited varied trends. Potato chips experienced a slight increase in value by 0.3%, though their volume decreased by 1.3%. Meanwhile, seed potato exports showed robust growth, with increases of 10.7% in value and a substantial 25.0% in volume.

Source: Potatoes USA

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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