U.S. Sees Significant Potato Export Gains

Published online: Nov 22, 2019 Articles
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U.S. potato exports increased significantly for the first quarter (July to September) of the 2019-20 marketing year. This continues the growth seen at the end of last marketing year and is in spite of the continuing trade issues in Asia.

These figures are a reflection of potato and product stocks coming out of last marketing year. Continued growth will depend on the availability of potatoes and products in the U.S. based on the lower-than-average fall harvest and the size of the rebound in EU production.

Exports of frozen potato products increased 9 percent in volume and 10 percent in value to $305,045,624. The volume growth was driven by a 58 percent increase to the Middle East, 42 percent increase to the Philippines and 19 percent increase to Central America. The elimination of the retaliatory tariff on fries entering Mexico resulted in a 7 percent increase, less of a rebound than anticipated. Exports to Japan were up 2 percent as product from the EU, New Zealand and Canada now enjoy tariff concessions into this market. U.S. exports to China declined by 4 percent as the U.S. product incurs a 15 percent retaliatory tariff into that market.

Dehydrated potato exports grew 18 percent in volume and 22 percent in value to $59,301,492. This growth was driven by a 23 percent increase to Japan, 13 percent increase to Canada and 11 percent increase to Mexico. Smaller markets in Asia; Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam all saw double-digit growth as well. The retaliatory tariffs on U.S. dehy entering China led to a 31 percent decline.

Exports of fresh potatoes (table, chip and frozen stock) increased 17 percent in volume and 13 percent in value to $77,689,365. The biggest driver was a 34 percent increase in exports to the largest fresh market, Canada. Much of this is raw product destined for the frozen processing plants there. Exports to the second-largest market, Mexico, declined by 13 percent as high U.S. prices discouraged imports into that price-sensitive market. Exports of chip-stock potatoes grew 14 percent to Japan, 60 percent to Malaysia, 83 percent to Thailand and 88 percent to Vietnam. Exports to Korea dropped 90 percent as a large domestic crop led to reductions in both table-stock and chip-stock needs.

See the attached export reports for further details. 

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