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Fresh Potato Sales Drop After March Pandemic Spike

Sales of fresh potatoes fell in April following March’s pandemic stockpiling increase, the May 6 issue of North American Potato Market News says.

American fresh potato sales dropped 6.8 per cent in April, compared to last year. This was a sharp reversal from March when there was a 11.2 per cent jump in sales.

“While shipments continued to run ahead of the 2019 pace in a number of growing areas, other areas were constrained either by a lack of supplies or by an imbalance of demand between the retail and foodservice sectors,” the report says.

Data is showing reduced movement for all major potato types except for long white potatoes, the largest percentage declines were with red and round white potatoes, the report says.

Russet table potato markets are still feeling the shock from the pandemic with demand expected to be a major factor over the next few months.

“Spillover processing potatoes have alleviated any supply shortage that the industry was facing,” the report says. “However, we doubt that the market will be able to absorb all of the extra processing potatoes.”

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