While Canadian potato stocks are up 15 per cent nationally as of April 1, they vary from coast-to-coast, an update from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) says. In the east stocks are up 33 per cent, while in the west they’re down eight per cent, compared to three-year averages.
Table potatoes in Canada are at 9.4 million hundred weight (cwt) — well above both year ago and historical levels, the UPGC says.
“Demand and disappearance have been trend setting throughout the winter months. In comparison to previous years, eastern packers will have ample supply to run late into summer, and right into new crop,” the update says
Processing potatoes are up 10 per cent with fryers in the eastern provinces having to run hard to use the additional supply available to them, the update notes. In Western Canada fryers have managed inventory by bringing in potatoes throughout the season to meet increased capacity at their plants.
“Chip supplies in central Canada are abundant and companies have advised growers they will be accepting deliveries much later in the storage season, in addition to requiring smaller volumes of field fry contracts.”
Seed inventory nationally is two per cent below the three-year average at 7.3 million cwt. UPGC notes early planting in the Pacific Northwest helped draw down western inventories early in the season.
“With P.E.I. unable to ship seed to either the United States or Canada, other provinces have stepped up to fill those gaps in the marketplace, and all available seed will likely be utilized.”
The UPGC update is based on the latest information available from Statistics Canada.