U.S. Potato Imports Down, Despite Gains in Some Categories

Published online: Nov 22, 2019 Articles
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Overall, U.S. potato imports declined slightly during the first quarter (July to September) of the 2019-20 marketing year compared to the previous year, dipping 12 percent in volume and 2 percent in value.

The drop-off in fresh imports over this period—from 77,496 to 50,343 metric tons, a 35 percent decrease—largely drove the downward trend, overshadowing growth in the dehydrated, chip and seed sectors. Of the three sectors, seed imports rose the most, reaching 41 metric tons to register a 116 percent increase over July to September 2018 totals of 19 metric tons. Imports of dehydrated potatoes also climbed significantly over this past quarter, with 25,882 metric tons in reported volume equivalent to a 43 percent increase over the July to September 2018 figure of 18,161 metric tons.

U.S. potato imports have been steadily growing based on increased demand for potatoes in the U.S. market. Imports tallied 1,529,400 metric tons for the 2018-19 marketing year, amounting to a 4 percent increase in value over the prior year’s total. Given the reduced potato production in the U.S. for the fall 2019 crop and the rebound in production in the EU, it is anticipated that imports will begin to grow again starting in 2020.

For a more detailed look at imports over the July to September 2019 period, see the attached reports from Potatoes USA. TradeStats NW compiles these figures based on Department of Commerce data. 

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