The Denver-based board announced the statistics Sept. 14, saying the increase represents a fresh-weight equivalent of more than 59 million cwt. of fresh potatoes. That means about 16% of the total U.S. potato production was exported, according to a USPB news release.
Fresh potato exports were up 34% in value, hitting $186 million, a 14% volume increase to about 400,000 metric tons. Export volume of fresh potatoes to Mexico dropped 10%, but still increased 13% in value because of high U.S. prices.
Frozen potato products are the largest category, accounting for 60% of the dollar value. Japan is the largest market for frozen potato products from the U.S., and despite that country’s economic problems in recent years exports have increased 43% from fiscal 2007 to fiscal 2011.
Dehydrated potato exports remain third in value, but are the second largest export by fresh weight equivalent volume at 16 million cwt. Their value rose 11% to $173 million.
The U.S. Potato Board’s International Marketing Program Long Range Plan for fiscal 2012-16 targets more than 20 markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa.