Potato stocks in Canada as of Jan. 1 were 5.14 million cwt less than 2019, a 6.7 per cent reduction, the Jan. 13 issue of North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says.
The largest drops were recorded in the Maritime provinces, where holdings fell 20.6 per cent. Stocks were also down in Quebec and Alberta. The decline is partly offset but a 19 per cent rebound in Manitoba and double digit percentage jumps in Ontario and British Columbia, the report notes.
December disappearance dropped by 6.5 per cent, with a 9.1 per cent downturn in processing use and 7.3 decline in table potato movement. Processing use will need to pick up to clean up the remaining storage supplies by the end of the storage season, the report says. A 19.4 per cent decline in potato disappearance in the Maritime provinces isn’t surprising due to the dry conditions the area experienced which limited supply.
“The downturn for Quebec and Ontario may be a bigger concern, as it may reflect demand issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s usage rebound in Manitoba and Alberta is much weaker than anticipated, following the robust increase in early-season usage.”
South of the border in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reporting growers produced 414.25 million cwt of potatoes in 2020, which is a 3.1 per cent drop. This is 1.23 million cwt less than USDA’s November crop estimate, the report notes.