November/December 2019 - 32

Record exports despite barriers to trade
Despite all of the
John Toaspern
Chief Marketing
hurdles, U.S. potato
exports achieved
record levels for both
value and volume for
the July 2018-June
2019 marketing year
U.S. exports were
hindered by retaliatory
tariffs, uncertainty in
U.S. trade policy, a
strong U.S. dollar, high
freight costs and tight U.S. potato supplies.
However, international demand remained
very strong and potato supplies in the main
competitors of the European Union and
Canada were down.
The value of total U.S. exports increased
1% to $1.8 billion, driven by a 1% increase
in exports of frozen potato products, which
make up 65% of the total, and a 3% increase
in dehydrated potato exports. The value of
fresh potato exports, which includes tablestock
and chip-stock, was off less than 1%
and potato chip exports were down 1%.
The volume of total exports grew 2%, in this
case, led by a 6% increase in fresh potato
exports and 3% increase in dehydrated
exports. When the fresh weight equivalents
for the processed products are applied, the
total amount of potatoes exported out of the
U.S. is 73 million hundredweight.
The 20% retaliatory tariff placed on imports
of U.S. frozen fries by Mexico resulted in a
25% decline in the volume exported, a total
of lost sales of 37,172 metric tons valued
at $33 million. The 10% retaliatory tariff on
U.S. frozen imports to China resulted in an
8% decline; however, this tariff is still in place
and is slated to increase with the next round
of tariffs. During the marketing year, the U.S.
dollar strengthened 3% compared to the euro
and 6% to the Korean won. Total world potato
imports increased once again, up 4.5% in
2018, reflecting strong international demand.
Canada surpassed Japan as the top U.S.
export destination on a volume basis because
of the 14% increase in fresh exports to this
market. The majority of these fresh exports were
potatoes from Idaho to be processed into frozen
fries in Prince Edward Island. Mexico remained
the third-largest market but declined 13%
because of the trade wars while Korea moved
into a strong fourth, up 14%. The Philippines
entered the top five for the first time, up 11%.
Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association
" Quality as High as our Mountains "
Zapata Seed Company
Worley Family Farms
SLV Research Center
San Acacio Seed
Salazar Farms
Rockey Farms, LLC
Pro Seed
Price Farms Certified Seed, LLC
Palmgren Farms, LLC
Martinez Farms
La Rue Farms
H&H Farms
G&G Farms
Bothell Seed
Allied Potato
Russet Norkotah S3
Russet Norkotah S8
Silverton Russet
Rio Grande Russet
Canela Russet
Mesa Russet
Mercury Russet
Fortress Russet
Crimson King
Colorado Rose
Rio Colorado
Red Luna
Purple Majesty
Mountain Rose
Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association
P. O. Box 267
Monte Vista, CO 81144
(719) 274-5996
Demand for U.S. potatoes remains
extremely strong in the international markets,
but several obstacles remain, however. A
big concern is the upcoming elimination of
tariffs in Japan and Vietnam on frozen and
dehydrated products from our competitors
Canada and the EU. Another concern is that
it appears the EU crop will rebound from the
23% decline in 2018, though supplies will
remain tight at least through the remainder of
2019. U.S. processors have added capacity,
but the U.S. crop is forecast to be down 3%
for 2019. It is important to note that over
the past 10 years, frozen production in the
Netherlands and Belgium has increased by
68% while U.S. frozen production has only
increased 10% over the same time.
To help combat this increased competition
and try to overcome some of the barriers,
Potatoes USA continues to invest additional
marketing funds into the international markets.
Potatoes USA received $5.1 million in
Agricultural Trade Promotion funding in addition
to the $4.98 million in Market Access Program
funding from USDA. These funds will be used
to bolster programs in existing target markets
as well as expand into new markets of Saudi
Arabia, UAE, Cambodia and Indonesia.

November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November/December 2019

November/December 2019 - 1
November/December 2019 - 2
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