News & Events

Potato Update

Our purchasing team is working to stay on top of the potential potato problems, but here are the facts you need to be aware of.

Potato Problems

The root of the potato perils began where the majority of our supply chain struggles did- the pandemic.

The United States Department of Agriculture found that in 2020, domestic farmers were forced to destroy millions of excess potatoes after lockdown drastically reduced food service demand.

The world's top potato producers are China, Russia, India, Ukraine and the United States.

Although this report was published prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the USDA attributed the rise in prices to the following:

Factors include a smaller U.S. crop, strong North American processing demand, and post pandemic surging international demand boosting both U.S. export demand and prices for imported potato products. As a result, the 2021/22 MY U.S. season-average potato price is expected to reach a nominal dollar record high—exceeding $10.00 per hundredweight (cwt) for the first time—as potato supplies tighten and processors siphon volume from the fresh market. In September 2021, the all-potato price (fresh and processing) was reported to be $14.00/cwt,up 17 percent from September 2020.

The teams at Saval Produce, Saval Foodservice and 1932 are working diligently to ensure our customers stay informed as the situation changes.

Saval Produce update as of 6/2/22:

Supplies of Idaho potatoes are tightening as Norkotah storages become depleted in the next week. Prices are increasing as shippers are attempting to slow demand to extend supplies through the summer. Some packing sheds will experience a gap between storage crop and new crop.

Expectations:

Expect limited supplies and higher pricing of Idaho potatoes available from through mid-August.

Hollow Heart and Pressure Bruising are starting to become more prevalent.

Hollow Heart is an air pocket that develops inside the potato from sudden changes in temperature during the growing season.

Pressure Bruising occurs while potatoes are in storage and n constant contact with each other.

For more detailed updates, subscribe to our free market trends podcast, Market Trends with Tracy.

READ MORE

November 2021 USDA Outlook Report | USDA

A growing global potato shortage is affecting French Fries, from Kenya to Japan | Washington Post

Vanishing French Fries | Inquirer

Market Analysis: The Impact of Russia's war on the Potato Industry of Ukraine | Potato Pro

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