POTATOES USA has reported that US potato imports for the first quarter of the July 2020 – June 2021 marketing year increased by 19%.
The marketing and researh organisation said the overall increase resulted from a 28% increase in fresh potatoes from Canada, a 20% increase in frozen potatoes, also mainly from Canada, and increasing imports from the EU. Imports of dehydrated potatoes saw a 9% decline, although potato chip imports increased by 17%.
The increase in fresh potato imports appears mainly for the retail market on the east coast, with Canadian potatoes benefiting from the exchange rate differential and freight advantages. Canada accounts for 90% of all frozen fry imports, but Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany are gaining market share.
Imports of frozen potatoes from Canada increased 17% in the first quarter while imports from Belgium were up 119%, the Netherlands up 35%, and Germany up 110%.
Much of this product is destined for retail channels, but some enters the low-priced foodservice market on the east coast.