Potatoes USA: U.S. potato exports still strong despite pandemic impacts

DENVER (Aug 18, 2020) — U.S. potato exports for the July 2019 – June 2020 marketing year (MY20), declined 2.6% in value and 2.2% for the fresh weight equivalent volume from the previous year’s record levels. These declines were due to the losses in sales during March – June due to the reduction in demand caused by the global pandemic. U.S. exports started the marketing year very strong and were above MY19 levels through February. Exports began to decline in March with the largest reductions in June. However, many countries in Asia are now reopening and product that got backed up when restaurants and other establishments started closing in February have now been drawn down. It is expected that while exports for July and August will be below year-ago levels, the reductions should not be as great as they were in May and June.

The volume of U.S. exports of frozen potato products was down 4.28% for the marketing year. The declines were relatively evenly dispersed across markets, but of note were declines of 27% to China, 17% to Vietnam, 13% to Central America, and 6% to the Philippines. On the positive side, exports to Mexico were up 12% due to the recovery from significant losses the previous year from the 20% retaliatory tariff. Exports to Taiwan (which managed to avoid any significant COVID related restrictions) were up 7%, Thailand up 6%, and Japan up 0.2%.

The volume of U.S. dehydrated potato exports managed to end the year up 0.77%. Significant declines of 25% to Thailand, 20% to the Philippines, 11% to Taiwan, and 24% to Central America were offset by a 31% increase to the EU, a 23% increase to northern Africa and the Middle East, and a 32% increase to South Korea.

The volume of U.S. fresh potato exports dropped 3.67% for the marketing year due to a 5% decline to Canada, a 3% decline to Mexico, a 31% decline to Japan, and a 45% decline to Korea. Increases to several other markets helped make up for these declines, notably a 60% increase to the Philippines, a 34% increase to Taiwan, a 25% increase to Malaysia, and a 45% increase to Costa Rica. Fresh potato exports include both table-stock and chip-stock, as well as potatoes destined for frozen processing in Canada.

Potatoes USA accepts no liability for the content of these reports, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of any information contained herein. Please reach out to media@potatoesusa.com with any questions.

Fresh Exports – July 2019 to June 2020

Frozen Exports – July 2019 to June 2020

Dehy Exports – July 2019 to June 2020

About Potatoes USA

Potatoes USA is the marketing organization for the 2,500 commercial potato growers operating in the United States. Potatoes USA, was established in 1971 by a group of potato growers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. Today, as the largest vegetable commodity board, Potatoes USA is proud to be recognized as an innovator in the produce industry. For more information on Potatoes USA’s mission to “Strengthen Demand for U.S. Potatoes” by creating positive change in the industry through innovative and inspiring approaches, please visit PotatoesUSA.com.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.