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Canadian potato landscape: Record stocks and regional disparities define the market

According to the latest holdings report issued by the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC), potato holdings in Canada have increased by 12.5% compared to April 2023. ​ With a total of 52,393,000 cwt in storage, stocks are well above the 5-year average. ​ The majority of the potatoes are in the western provinces, particularly in the processing sector. ​

In Quebec and the Maritimes, potato stocks are lower than last year and the 5-year average due to a rainy growing season and higher cull rates. ​ However, the fresh sector remains well balanced, with no concerns about carryover into the new crop. ​

In the processing sector, stocks are 24% higher than last year, driven by record production and increased acreage. ​Despite surplus, there is movement from west to east to balance out shortages. ​

The seed sector saw increased movement in March, but overall stocks are 5.6% lower than last year in April. ​ Inventories are higher than the 5-year average in PEI and Ontario, but reduced in other regions. ​

In March, total potato disappearance in Canada was slightly lower than last year, with movement down in the east. ​ The seed sector outpaced last year’s movement, while processing sector stocks remain high in the west. ​

Looking ahead, April will be crucial for seed movement as planting begins. ​ Growers are easing into planting due to erratic weather patterns and lower contracted acreage for processing. ​ However, certain areas in the east are eager to plant early varieties due to a tightness in the fresh sector. ​The UPGC will continue to monitor the potato industry closely and provide updates on planting progress and market conditions.

Source: United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC)
Victoria Stamper, General Manager, UPGC
Cover image: Credit Victoria Stamper

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