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Worst Japan harvest in 34 years bites snack makers’ shares

Japan’s potato chip lovers, beware: Your favorite snacks may become harder to find. The country’s worst potato harvest in at least 34 years has prompted major snack makers to halt production of several types of snacks. The news hit share prices on Tuesday of Calbee Inc, which makes about half of Japan’s potato snacks including “Consonme Punch,” and Koike-ya Inc, both of which tumbled to two-month lows. Bad weather is the main…

Potato supplier HZPC charged by South African Competition Commission

South Africa’s Competition Commission has referred a Netherlands-based seed potato breeder and its exclusive South African distributor to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for abuse of dominance in relation to the exclusive supply of Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgro Potatoes, a potato seed grower in South Africa, has an exclusive agreement with HZPC Holland to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow…

Trade Agreements and Potato Markets

It is hoped that when it is ratified, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will open new export markets for Canadian potatoes. But when U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the trade agreement in January, it put negotiation among the remaining 11 nations in flux. Before we go into what might happen, let’s look at the current potato export “lay of the land” among the nations involved. According to…

Canadian potato storage holdings down

TOTAL POTATO storage holdings in Canada were down eight per cent on Feb. 1 from a year previously, according to the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Storage holdings were down in every province except for British Columbia, where holdings were up substantially at 24 per cent. Kevin MacIsaac, UPGC general manager, says an exceptional 2016 crop in B.C. meant more potatoes than usual were put in storage following harvest. Of those…

Market News

AFTER TWO years of record-breaking yields for potato production in Canada, 2016 saw another bumper crop. While production was down substantially in Central Canada, other parts of the country produced an excellent crop, resulting in an estimated national yield of 307.2 hundredweight of potatoes per acre. That’s up 0.7 per cent from 2015’s yield of 305.1 hundredweight. While it’s been a third straight record-setting year for potato yields in Canada, it certainly…

Idaho potato outlook somewhat brighter in 2017

For Idaho growers looking for a bright spot in 2017, potatoes might be that crop — if potatoes are already part of the rotation. Though Idaho and Washington are still the leading potato growing states, Idaho’s share has been slowly diminishing over time. Back in 1990, when Idaho growers planted 405,000 acres of potatoes, the Gem State represented 32 to 33 percent of the nation’s entire potato acres, said Ryan Larsen, an extension…

Rawanda’s farmers push for affordable Irish potato seeds

The soaring prices of Irish potato seeds has left Rawanda’s smallholder farmers lamenting, triggering efforts by different stakeholders to seek a remedy. The prices for seeds, now between RWF600 (RWF = Rawandan Franc) and RWF700 (97 cents to $1.13 CDN), are soaring at the time when farmers are getting little from the produce, with the farm price for a kilogram of Irish potatoes now down to between RWF110 and RWF140, according to…

Brexit’s effect on the potato industry

On June 23, 2016, the British people were given the choice “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European or leave the European Union?” Of the 33.5 million people who voted, 51.9 per cent chose to leave with 48.1 per cent wanting to remain. It was a result that shocked many, and will have massive implications for both the UK and the European Union and will impact on the potato…

It’s all gravy for P.E.I. potato industry

The Prince Edward Island potato board says the high price for potatoes will put millions of extra dollars into the provincial economy this winter. Prices were a big topic of conversation when growers met in Charlottetown for the board’s annual meeting Nov. 18. But prices vary depending on which varieties are grown. “Prices are up considerable,” said potato farmer Alex Docherty, who is also the board president. “A penny a pound brings…

Scotland signs major seed potato supply deal with Kenya

Scotland’s farmers could be set to grasp a share of an estimated £50 million market for seed potatoes in Kenya following the announcement that the Scottish Government has signed a bilateral agreement with the Kenyan authorities. Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said that the agreement represented further recognition of Scotland’s high-health status and worldwide reputation for producing high quality seed potatoes. Kenya grows around 160,000 hectares of potatoes annually, but only two…

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