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U.S. Potato Exports Reach Record Levels

Exports of all U.S. potatoes and potato products reached a record USD1.7bn for the July 2016–June 2017 marketing year, and a record volume level of 1,712,364 metric tons (MT), according to Potatoes USA.

Fresh potato exports at 491,716 MT were up nine per cent, potato chip exports up five per cent to 52,103 MT and frozen products up three per cent to 1,026,429 MT.

Exports of dehydrated potatoes were down 10 per cent to 122,063 MT after suffering significant declines for the first half of the marketing year. Frozen exports account for 60 per cent of the total exports at the FWE, dehy at 24 per cent and fresh 15 per cent.

Japan remains the largest export market, with Canada a very close second. Based on the FWE volume for all products, exports to Japan were 680,264 MT valued at USD363m, while Canada received 635,463 MT valued at USD298m. Mexico was not far behind with 527,464 MT valued at USD237m. Korea is now fourth at USD109m with China fifth at USD107m.

With world-wide trade in potatoes and potato products averaging eight per cent annual growth there remains significant opportunities for U.S. exports to continue to grow. Future growth challenges include the strong U.S. dollar, increasing competition from the European Union and the lack of new trade deals for U.S. products. However, prospects still look good for U.S. exports as the dollar has weakened over the past six-months and U.S. processors are expanding capacity while ongoing efforts could increase access for U.S. fresh potatoes to a number of markets. Additionally, the high quality of U.S. potatoes and products sets them apart and Potatoes USA international marketing programs distinguish U.S. products and create new demand.

Potatoes USA implements international marketing programs in 12 targeted markets in Asia and Latin America. These programs promote frozen, dehy, table-stock and chip-stock to all sectors; foodservice, retail, food manufacturing and consumers. Potatoes USA also supports the expansion of exports of U.S. seed potatoes to growers in different markets.

Source: Potato Business

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