DENVER — With international markets across the globe showing solid signs of recovery, it’s no surprise that the value of U.S. potato exports was up for all potato types July – Dec. 2022, compared with the same six months in 2021. During this time, the volume of U.S. shipments was also up for frozen and dehydrated potatoes but down slightly for fresh potatoes.
U.S. frozen potato export volume was up 0.6%, while the value of frozen exports was up further by 25% compared to the same six months in 2021. The significant increase in value over volume, present for all potato categories, represents inflation and price increases across the globe. A few major export markets saw decreases in U.S. frozen potato shipment volume over the six months, including China (-50%), Vietnam (-38%), and Myanmar (-42%). However, many markets saw significant volume increases during this time. U.S. frozen exports increased in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region (+28%), Malaysia (+28%), and Thailand (+26%).
U.S. fresh potato exports, including table-stock potatoes and chipping potatoes for processing, decreased in volume during these six months compared to the year prior. The volume of U.S. fresh shipments was down -8%, but the value was up by 13%, again reflecting higher prices. Now that the U.S. can ship potatoes beyond the 26-kilometer border region in Mexico, there was a significant increase in volume (+20%) and value (+56%) for fresh exports to the market. Fresh shipments also increased by volume to Central America (+37%), South Korea (+40%), and the Philippines (+64%). However, volume was down to several markets, such as Canada (-28%), Japan (-48%), and Taiwan (-10%).
U.S. dehydrated potato exports for the July – Dec. 2022 period were up 16% by volume and 29% by value. Although, a few markets saw decreases in U.S. dehydrated shipments over the six months, including China (-13%) and South Korea (-17%). Reports from South Korea indicate that this decrease represents the significantly high U.S. dehydrated exports to the market in 2021, though buyers are maintaining confidence in U.S. supply. The large increase in U.S. dehydrated potato shipments globally was led by increased shipments to several markets. Dehydrated potato exports to Canada and Mexico increased by 19%, Japan by 16%, and Malaysia by 79%.
While some international markets still report a tight supply of U.S. potatoes, the situation seems to be improving in many countries. In South Korea, for example, foodservice operators are maintaining a consistent supply and are looking to launch new products and run promotions for U.S. potatoes. In most markets, retailers and foodservice operators are back to business as usual, and tourism is returning. However, price increases affect these markets and often lead to increased costs for the end consumer.
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— Potatoes USA