BusinessNPC Releases Potato Export Report

NPC Releases Potato Export Report

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The National Potato Council (NPC) recently released their report The Current & Potential Impact of Expanded Potato Exports.

The report looks at Canadian exports, as well as Mexico, Japan, South Korea, The Philippines and Taiwan, and strong potentials for growth, which include Saudi Arabia, The Gulf States, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and China.

The report states “Different scenarios are used to analyze the economic impact of expanded exports. We estimate the impact of a 10 per cent increase in exports to Canada, Japan, and South Korea; and a 25 per cent increase in exports to Mexico, other East Asian countries, and selected countries in the Middle East. Also, fresh exports of $100 million each to Mexico and Japan are considered.”

Between July 2022 and June 2023, the total value of fresh potato exports amounted to $310.378 million. Mexico and Canada collectively represented a significant portion, with Mexico contributing a third and Canada 30 per cent to the total exports. The fresh potato export market from the U.S. is largely concentrated, with the top 11 importing nations accounting for approximately 94 per cent of the export value. Besides, Japan, Taiwan, Honduras, and South Korea stand out as major destinations for U.S.-grown fresh potatoes.

In regard to frozen potato exports, the report states that “exports for frozen potato products from July 2022 through June of 2023 totaled $1.43 billion.”  This exceeds the combined value of fresh and dehydrated potato exports by more than two-fold. In contrast to fresh and dehydrated potatoes, Canada’s import of frozen potato products is relatively modest, comprising 5.2 percent of total exports. Conversely, Mexico emerges as a significant importer of frozen potato products, constituting 20 percent of U.S. exports in this category.

Canada, Japan, and Mexico stand as the primary markets for dehydrated potatoes. Canada led the pack, representing 46 per cent of total U.S. exports, while Japan and Mexico accounted for 16 and 15 per cent of exports, respectively.

Canada and Mexico represent the primary markets for potato chips. Canada constituted 27.8 per cent of total exports, while Mexico accounted for 18.2 per cent. In contrast to other potato products, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia emerge as relatively substantial importers of U.S. potato chips.

The report states that “while Canada will likely remain a major market for U.S. potatoes, growing other markets may require more targeted promotion. In addition to its proximity to the U.S. and similar tastes and preferences in food products, Canada is affluent. Its population is growing, although at a relatively slower rate than many developing markets. Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan face headwinds with respect to market growth.”

Canada and Mexico are the primary markets for fresh potatoes. Historically, Canada has held the top position, with yearly exports nearing $100 million. However, there has been a gradual decline in fresh potato exports to Canada. On the other hand, Mexico has experienced significant growth, with exports more than doubling from $49.3 million in 2018/19 to $103.1 million in 2022/23, following the attainment of full market access in the spring of 2022. There are no apparent discernible trends for Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Both Japan and South Korea face constraints due to market access issues. Japan, for instance, does not grant access to fresh potatoes from the U.S. or any other country. Similarly, South Korea operates under a tariff quota regime that limits the supply.

While many markets demonstrate stability or gradual growth, the value of dehydrated potato exports to Canada has experienced a sharp and consistent increase. Surpassing expectations, exports to Canada reached $119.2 million in 2022/23, up from $88.2 million in 2018/2019. Additionally, Japan has witnessed overall growth in dehydrated potato imports, rising from $31.3 million in 2018/19 to $41.4 million in 2022/23.

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