Freezer stocks of french fries in the United States are at a 32.3 day supply, which is the second lowest Jan. 31 inventory on record, while sales in December/January were down 3.6 per cent from the year before, the Feb. 24 issue of North American Potato Market News (NAPM) says.
Freezers held 1.162 billion pounds of french fries and other frozen potato products as of Jan, 31, which is 39.4 million pounds below year-earlier holdings. At the current usage rate, these freezer stocks equal a 32.3 day supply, which is the second-lowest Jan. 31 inventory on record, behind a 30.7 day supply in 2016, the report notes.
The combination of processing use data with freezer inventory adjustments suggests December-January sales of domestically produced frozen products fell 3.6 per cent short of last year’s pace.
“The limited downturn is remarkable, considering the supply and demand disruptions caused by the pandemic and the related economic slowdown,” the report says.
NAPM notes fryers have ample opportunity to build finished product inventories ahead of the transition to the 2021 crop, but processors seems to be more comfortable operating with smaller freezer stocks than they have done in the past.
“The combination of relatively stable demand and sufficient raw product supplies make a modest build up possible.”