NewsInternationalJapan's potato supply is recovering as production returns to normal

Japan’s potato supply is recovering as production returns to normal

-

Japan’s potato supply is rebounding — with wholesale and retail prices falling — thanks to solid shipments from secondary producing regions starting in the spring.

Potato stocks are 20 per cent higher on the year at Tokyo’s Ota market. Shipments began arriving in April from prefectures such as Shizuoka in Japan’s main island and Nagasaki in the country’s south, areas that experienced solid harvests due to favourable weather this spring. “There isn’t a potato shortage at the moment,” says Tokyo Seika, Japan’s largest fruit and vegetable wholesaler.

Last year’s shortage resulted from a series of typhoons that hit the northernmost island of Hokkaido, which produces 80 per cent of Japan’s potatoes. Potatoes from Hokkaido currently on store shelves were harvested last fall.

In the first week of July, wholesale potato prices were 10 per cent lower year on year, with 10kg selling for 1,296 yen (US$11.30). Retail prices were down too. Potatoes are selling for 60-70 yen apiece at supermarkets in Tokyo, a drop of 10 per cent that reflects the “growing shipments,” states Tokyo’s Akidai supermarket. Despite the lower prices, sales have been slow.

The supply is expected to get an added boost in mid-July when shipments begin from the eastern prefectures of Chiba and Ibaraki, where the vegetable has grown steadily thanks to rising temperatures from mid-June. Harvests have been solid so far as this year’s relatively dry rainy season has kept potatoes from catching diseases.

Hokkaido’s potatoes are also expected to make a comeback this year. Last August’s typhoons pushed output down 10 per cent from fiscal 2015. Planting has gone well for this fiscal year’s harvest, according to the Hokkaido-based Hokuren Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives.

Supplies for processed goods such as potato chips are also rising. In June, snack producer Calbee resumed sales of some products owing to shipments from regions like the southwestern island of Kyushu.

The company expects Hokkaido’s harvest in August to be back up at average levels.

Source: PotatoPro

Trending This Week

Tackling Moisture When it’s Too Much / Too Little / Too Late.

0
Moisture is the most universally challenging factor in potato production: there never seems to be the right amount at the right time. On May...

Up to 68 Per Cent of Potato Seed Could be Infected With Verticillium

Let me throw a shocking number at you: 68 per cent. A recent scientific research paper stated that up to 68 per cent of...
Cell phone

There’s an App for That – Helping Culinarians Pick the Perfect Potato

0
I know not everyone agrees with my stance on the importance of varietal labeling. One thing I think we can all agree on is...

World Potato Congress: Confronting Climate Challenges and Cultivating a Sustainable Future

0
Adelaide is set to host the 12th World Potato Congress from June 23-26, 2024. This global event will bring together farmers, researchers, and industry...

Know Your Soil Moisture

0
Irrigation management means soil moisture monitoring is imperative. Irrigation management is about deciding when to irrigate and how much water to apply. When irrigations are...