Demand strong for North Carolina sweet potatoes - The Packer

Demand strong for North Carolina sweet potatoes

10/12/2011 09:56:00 AM
Andy Nelson

“It’s too early to guess,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to cover it, but industrywide, I don’t know yet.”

What’s not in doubt, however, is the fact that more and more Americans are eating more and more sweet potatoes, Godwin said — at home, when they go out to eat, you name it.

“Demand is up across the board,” he said.

And Godwin doesn’t foresee 2011-12 being any different from last season.

“I think that increase in demand will continue,” he said. “I don’t foresee any downturn at all.”

Many North Carolina shippers ended their 2010-11 deals early, said Steven Ceccarelli, owner of Faison-based Farm Fresh Produce Inc.

As a result, prices may not take the usual dip that accompanies the beginning of the new-crop deal.

“Demand’s going to be good, and I don’t see big fluctuations in price,” Ceccarelli said.

“People ran out of last year’s crop earlier than anticipated, and it created good demand.”

Precythe also expects prices to stay in the $14-16 range until the holidays, when they could go up a dollar or two per box.

Prices will likely restabilize before inching up again around Easter, he said.

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