U.S. Potato Imports Surge from July to September

Published online: Nov 17, 2020 Articles
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Source: Potatoes USA

U.S. potato imports for the first quarter of the July 2020 to June 2021 marketing year were up 19 percent in total. This increase was led by a 28 percent increase in fresh potatoes from Canada, a 20 percent increase in frozen potatoes, also mainly from Canada and increasing imports from the EU. Imports of dehydrated potatoes saw a 9 percent decline, though potato chip imports were up 17 percent. For comparison, imports for the previous marketing year (July 2019 to June 2020) were up 5 percent overall, led by a 24 percent increase in dehy and a 10 percent increase in fresh.

The increase in fresh potato imports appears mainly for the retail market on the East Coast, with Canadian potatoes benefiting from the exchange rate differential and freight advantages. Canada accounts for 90 percent of all frozen fry imports, but Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany are gaining market share. Imports of frozen potatoes from Canada increased 17 percent in the first quarter, while imports from Belgium were up 119 percent, the Netherlands up 35 percent, and Germany up 110 percent. Much of this product is destined for retail channels, but some enters the low-priced foodservice market on the East Coast.