Canadian potato storage holdings are varied across the country with stocks up 42 per cent in the four eastern provinces and down 15 per cent in Western Canada, a May 9 news release from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) said. Overall Canadian potato stocks are 17.9 per cent above three-year averages.
Fresh potato stocks in Canada are at 6.8 million hundred weight, which UPGC noted is well above both a year ago and historical levels. The largest stocks are in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, followed by Quebec and Ontario.
“Given the lack of very much early planting and subsequent slow growth, this will provide ample supply to allow packers to run into late summer. Stocks of table potatoes in Western Canada are quickly diminishing,” UPGC said.
Processing holdings are seven per cent above the three-year average at 21.7 million hundred weight. The report noted country wide, this would be short for covering the needs of plant expansions in recent years. New Brunswick has been exporting potatoes to Western Canada.
“Fryers in Western Canada will be eagerly awaiting any new crop, but floods and cool planting weather in the Prairies have lowered that probability. In addition, growth in the early planted crop in the Pacific Northwestern USA [sic] has been slow and behind normal.”
Increased chip supply in Ontario and Quebec, should allow plants to run mostly on domestic volume into early summer, the report said.
Seed inventory nationally is 21 per cent above the three-year average at 5.8 million hundred weight. UPGC noted this is higher than one year ago when seed supplies were much tighter.
“A late spring with cool planting conditions has also slowed movement out of seed storage for the time of year. Alberta and B.C. are the two provinces with most rapid movement of their seed stocks.”