American sales of frozen potato products are expected to increase by 2.1 per cent during the year ending Jan. 31, 2023, the March 17 issue of the North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says. This would be down from a 4.2 per cent increase the previous year.
“That could hold back February-January processing use, though usage will likely pick up once new-crop potatoes become available,” the report notes.
Imports from Canada are expected to increase, while freezer inventories were close to pipeline minimums as of Jan. 31. NAPM doesn’t expect fryers will be able to rebuild those inventories during the coming year.
Frozen product exports totalled 2.04 billion lbs during the year ending Jan. 31, which is up 8.7 per cent from 2021/22 sales. The report says NAPM is projecting a 140 million lb reduction in this year’s exports to 1.90 billion lbs, a 6.9 per cent drop.
United States domestic consumption of frozen potato products is expected to be at 11.68 billion lbs, up 3.8 per cent from the previous year.
“Demand remains strong, but raw product limitations will likely hold back additional growth, this year,” the report says.
Fourth quarter global french fry trade was 34.9 million lbs below 2020 sales volume. The report notes that despite fourth quarter sales being down 1.6 per cent, total annual export sales grew by 13.5 per cent in 2021.