SUMMER MARKETS HEATING UP

Published online: Jun 14, 2011 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Seed Potatoes
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In North America, summer potato markets are strengthening as the East Coast deal shifts from northern Florida to North Carolina.

"Red and white markets have strengthened significantly in the last two or three days," Ken Wiles, general manager of Lake Wales, Fla.-based Mack Farms Inc., said June 7. "I talked to one grower who said he hated to be out of potatoes when they were on an uptick."

On June 7, the USDA reported prices of $10.75-11.75 for 50-pound sacks of size-A reds from Florida, comparable to last year at the same time. As the Hastings, Fla., deals wound down in early June, Wiles predicted a supply gap between Florida and North Carolina, which was expected to begin shipping June 15-20.

Adam Lytch, operations manager for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc., said the company's Florida deal would likely end sometime the week of June 13. The strengthening markets would likely stay strong once production shifts to North Carolina, Lytch said. A heat wave in the Tar Heel state would likely cut into yields.

"I think potatoes will be short all the way through summer," he said.

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