Processed potatoes in China account for about 15% of total production and include products such as starch, dehydrated potatoes, chips, and frozen French fries (FFF), according to a report presented by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service – “China – Peoples Republic of Potato and Potato Products Annual Report”.
Many potato processing machines only run from mid–August to late–March due to the limited supply of suitable fresh potatoes and inadequate or outdated storage facilities. Many potato processing factories are located in the Northern Single Crop Zone, where potatoes are harvested from September to October.
The potatoes produced in other zones are generally not suitable for processing. As a result, China’s processing potato supply is very limited from March–August.
Regarding frozen French fries, China’s MY2018/19 production is forecast at 290,000 MT, a 15% increase from 250,000 MT in MY2017/18. Due to increasing demand for FFF, China’s potato processing industry is building additional processing capacity in Inner Mongolia.
In China, there are less than ten FFF processing lines and the addition of a new line will noticeably increase capacity. This new line is expected to begin production in MY2018/19.