U.S. Potato Exports Start Marketing Year Down

Published online: Nov 13, 2018 Articles
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Source: Potatoes USA 

The first quarter of the July 2018 to June 2019 marketing year saw significant declines in U.S. potato exports compared to the same time frame the previous marketing year. The volume of frozen potato product exports dropped 6 percent, with values down 5 percent. Dehy export volume and value are both down 7 percent, while the volume of fresh exports declined 12 percent with value off 10 percent. These declines reflect the impact of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. potatoes put in place by Mexico and China. Additionally, competitor products from the EU continue to reflect the low prices from the 2017 crop. It is hoped that the roughly 18 percent shortfall in the European crop this fall and resulting increase in prices will help to correct the U.S. export performance as the year progresses.

U.S. Frozen exports to Mexico face a 20 percent retaliatory tariff in response to the section 232 tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum from Mexico. This has led to a 21 percent decline in U.S. exports to this market, with both Canada and the EU picking up significant market share. Frozen exports to the largest U.S. market, Japan, are down 3 percent as the EU continues to gain share in this market. Exports to Malaysia are off 19 percent, with exports to Thailand down 18 percent.

The decline in dehy exports is due to a 29 percent drop to Japan, a 51 percent decline to China, and a 62 percent decline to the Philippines. The 20 percent decline in fresh exports to Canada, the largest market, has created the overall drop in exports, despite an increase of 39 percent to Mexico, 46 percent to Central America and 114 percent to South Korea. Significant declines of fresh exports to the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand have also contributed to the overall reduction.