U.S. exports of frozen potato products increased 8% in volume and 9% in value in April 2018 compared to April 2017, while dehy exports were up 21% in volume and 21% in value, according to Potatoes USA.
Fresh exports were down 33% in volume and 13% in value. Frozen exports are up 1% for the July – June marketing year through April, with dehy up 5% year to date and fresh up 5% for the marketing year.
Based on the new Retail Sales data from IRI the total volume of potatoes sold at retail in the U.S. declined 3.8% in May 2018 compared to May 2017, however the value increased by 1.3% based on a 5.5% increase in price per pound. The decline in volume was due to a 6.4% drop in fresh sales and a 6.9% decline in deli prepared sides. Potato chips and refrigerated potatoes increased in volume, up 1% and 2.8% respectively. It is important to note that the total value of fresh sales remained virtually unchanged due to a 6.8% increase in the price per pound.
The decline in fresh sales volume was driven by russets, down 10.3%, yellows off 2.4% and fingerlings down 3%. On the positive side red sales were up 2.1%, whites up 5%, medleys up 40% and purples up 7.2%. The largest increase in price per pound was for russets, up USD0.58 or 10%. The volume of fresh potatoes sold in 1 – 4 lb. bags was up 5%, while all other sizes declined with 10 lb. bags and over 10 lb. bags down 16% and 21% respectively.