2013/14 Fresh Potato Highlights

Exports of fresh potatoes from the world’s 3 major suppliers estimated at 1.4 million metric tons have remained relatively constant over the past 5 years.

Although U.S. exports are estimated at 450 thousand metric tons, virtually unchanged from last year, they are up nearly 30 percent from 4 years ago. Import demand from Asian markets accounts for over 65 percent of that growth, despite import and phytosanitary restrictions, and certification requirements in many of those markets. Potatoes there are increasingly being used as an affordable alternative to other staples. Canada accounts for nearly 25 percent of that expansion. 

EU exports are estimated at 550 thousand tons, flat in recent years. Sales to Russia, a principal market, have been falling as demand from other countries has expanded. 

Canadian exports are estimated at 475 thousand tons, nearly a 50 percent jump from last year, with aggressive sales to the United States, its principal market.

2013/14 Frozen Potato Highlights 

Exports of frozen potatoes from the world’s 3 leading suppliers, at over 3.0 million metric tons, are up nearly 35 percent from 4 years earlier. 

U.S. exports are estimated at 1.0 million tons, up nearly 40 percent, on rising demand from Asian countries outside Japan. Tastes and preferences are changing in those markets, as a result of greater exposure to Western- style, fast-food restaurants. 

EU exports have skyrocketed 75 percent to an estimated 1.1 million tons. The bulk (nearly 40 percent) of that growth is driven by rising demand from the fast food sector in Saudi Arabia and other regional markets. However, the EU is also expanding globally to markets in South America and Asia. 

Canadian exports estimated at 925 tons have been relatively unchanged, as rising demand from the United States is offset by falling import demand from Mexico and other markets.