26 January 2023
More likelihood of imports, report states.
DOMESTIC Korean potato production is expected to continue declining in coming years, which is likely to lead to more chipping and table varieties being imported from the US, a recent report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals.
South Korea’s 2022 potato production decreased by 9.5% to 510,000 MT and further decreases are envisaged going forwards. It is believed this may create more opportunities for US imports, despite an annual tariff rate quota cap of 4,000 metric tons, the report states.
Korea’s potato consumption is expected to rise by 2.5 %in 2023 owing to increased demand for prepared potato products, which have traditionally dominated Korean potato imports.
Korea’s potato and potato product imports increased by 17% to 227,000 MT. The main reason for this was strong demand for frozen French fries in the food service sector
Spring potatoes are planted from February through the middle of April and are harvested and marketed until the end of July. Planted area for spring potatoes, which accounted for 67.3% of total production in 2021, is expected to decrease by 4% this year, owing to reduced profitability in the previous year.
The production volume and planted area for autumn potatoes are expected to increase by 11.3%and 1.3% respectively, following a bump in market prices last year.
Planted area for potatoes produced in high elevation areas, which accounted for 20.9 percent of total production in 2021, is expected to decrease by five percent to 3,690 ha due to labor shortages (limited availability of seasonal foreign workers during the pandemic) and reduced productivity. In 2021, highland potato yields declined due to quality issues with summer heat waves and heavy precipitation from early harvesting.