Canadian Imports of U.S. Potatoes Higher in Last Quarter

Potato chips spilling out of a bag
Photo: Pixabay

Canadian imports of potatoes from the United States were bigger in the April-June quarter than the previous year, the August 19 issue of the North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says.

With the drought Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick experienced in 2020, major crop losses were reported, while increased processing capacity in the Prairies has lead to larger potato demand.

“Fryers have increased imports of processing potatoes to supplement tight local raw product supplies, so that processing plants could run closer to capacity.”

NAPM notes during the April-June quarter Canada imported 1.935 million cwt of fresh potatoes from the U.S. — which is 58.5 per cent more than the previous year.

“The program to import fry quality potatoes from the U.S. is likely to slow down. Canadian processors expanded their contract volumes to 2019 levels, or more, in most areas. In contrast, U.S. processors appear to have underestimated their raw product needs. The tight raw product situation could get worse due to the impact that extreme heat has had on crops in the Pacific Northwest and the Prairie provinces.”

Dehydrated potato products imports from the U.S. were also higher at 30.53 million lbs, up 5.9 per cent from the year before. The report notes Canada is the largest destination for U.S. dehydrated potato product exports, accounting for 40 per cent of U.S. dehydrated product trade in the last quarter.

Chip exports from the U.S. were also up with Canada bringing in 1.96 million lbs, or 42.5 per cent more than 2020.

Quiet Chip Potato Market

Overall movement on the chip potato market in North America is extremely quiet currently, the report says. Potatoes are coming from multiple sources with buyers able to get all the supplies they need.

Chip potato growers in Quebec and Ontario are saying their crops are in good condition with yields above average.

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