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

Bar 9 Farms cover crop

Stopping Disappearing Soil on Bar 9 Farms in Alberta

Reducing soil erosion is the goal for Neil and James Bareman on their potato farm, Bar 9 Farms, in southern Alberta. Farming in southern Alberta...
Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetles Break Down, Regrow Muscle to Survive Winter

New research from Western University has discovered hibernating Colorado potato beetles (CPBs) break down muscles to survive winters and then regrow them on demand...
Yellow potatoes

Mid-season Crop Nutrition: How’s Your Boron?

Want more from your potato crop? Better quality and yield may come from boron. I sat down with University of Manitoba Plant Scientist Mark...
Ontario potato crop

Ontario Potato Research Open House Happening Aug. 17

The Ontario Potato Research Open House is happening on Aug. 17 at the Elora Research Station, a July 26 emailed announcement said. The open...
Colomba potatoes

Manitoba Tuber Set Numbers Looking Good

With temperatures having hit the upper 20 C range and the low teens overnight, it has been good for tuberization of Manitoba potato crops, the...