U.S. potato exports up 6%

The value of U.S. potato exports grew 4% in the 12 months ending in June, and volumes increased 6%. Potatoes exported in the 12-month period were valued at $1.69 billion, the second-highest total ever over a 12-month period, according to Denver-based Potatoes USA. The volume of exports in the period was 3.2 million metric tons, or 71 million cwt. Fresh potato exports increased 8%, to 441,990 metric tons, and were valued at $183 million. Fresh export numbers cited by Potatoes USA included table-stock, chip-stock and fresh destined for frozen processing. The top four export destinations for fresh potatoes all saw increases: Canada (up 10%), Mexico (13%), Japan (108%) and Taiwan (18%). Shipments to the fifth-biggest market, South Korean, were down 38%. Prospects for future growth are good due to rising worldwide demand for potatoes, though a strong dollar and increased competition could restrain growth, according to Potatoes USA. (Source: The Packer)