Potato usage is up across Canada with 1.43 million cwt more potatoes being used in December compared to the previous year, the Jan. 13 issue of the North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says.
All provinces, except for Alberta, reported increased usage during December. The largest potato usage rises were recorded in Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Nationally as of Jan. 1, potato stocks exceeded year earlier holdings by 15.7 million cwt, 24.5 per cent more — with most of the increase happening in P.E.I. and New Brunswick. The report notes Quebec and Ontario also have significantly larger supplies, while British Columbia is the only province with fewer potatoes in storage than a year ago.
“The overall stocks increase obscures the tight raw product supply situation in the frozen processing sector,” the report says.
Raw product supplies are tight for the frozen processing sectors in Manitoba and Alberta. The report notes there has been potatoes from eastern provinces and other areas being imported to Manitoba and Alberta. However, transporting the raw product could prove to be challenging.
Overall Canadian french fry processors used about 38 per cent more potatoes in December than the previous year. New production lines and increased demand have supported the processing increase, NAPM says.
Table potato usage has also been on the rise with 5.1 per cent more used in December than a year before. The report notes some tables potatoes may be diverted for processing use.
Seed potato stocks in Canada are up 731,000 cwt, a 7.8 per cent increase, from a year before. NAPM says larger supplies in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Alberta have offset a reported 369,000 cwt drop in P.E.I.
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