U.S. exports of potatoes in the most recent quarter saw declines across the board, from dehydrated and frozen, with the largest drop in fresh exports, in what Potatoes USA says reflects trade disputes with Mexico and China.
Fresh potato exports dropped 12% in volume, and 10% in value, according to Potatoes USA, the industry’s promotion group based in Denver.
“Additionally, competitor products from the (European Union) continue to reflect the low prices from the 2017 crop,” according to Potatoes USA summary of its report. “It is hoped that the roughly 18% shortfall in the European crop this fall and resulting increase in prices will help to correct the U.S. export performance as the year progresses.”
While fresh shipments to Mexico were up over the first-quarter period (July-September), at 39%, the gain of 8,162 metric tons is more than negated by the 19.6% drop in fresh shipments to Canada, at more than 17,700 metric tons.
The effect of tariffs on trade with Mexico is evident in a 21% drop in exports of frozen potatoes, which face a 20% retaliatory tariff linked to U.S. tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, according to Potatoes USA.
The statistics were compiled by Bryant Christie Inc. based on figures supplied by Global Trade Stats, according to the Potatoes USA release.