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Fresh Potato and Onion Market Report for 12/04/17

Fresh Potato and Onion Market Report for 12/04/17



Potato demand is starting to pick up following the Thanksgiving holiday and leading into the Christmas season. Pricing remains steady. Quality is good. Transportation is still an issue with both truck and rail car shortages.


Acreages and yield in Washington are down so we’ll see fewer potatoes than last year. Processors appear to be fairly active in Washington and Northern Oregon. Considering supplies in other areas, we don’t expect to see much change in the market but we do think it will happen in the future. The latest report shows great variation in the size of potatoes, but it’s safe to say we won’t see as many cartons 70 ct. or larger in Washington this year.


Colorado potato demand and quality are good and prices are firm. Truck shortages will continue to be an issue until after the first of the year.
Potato demand is good and shippers remain bullish on prices. Quality is reported as good. Trucks continue to be tight.


The market is steady with people relaxing after a hectic Thanksgiving holiday push. We’ve seen prices remain firm and expect that to continue through the end of the year. After New Year’s business finishes, growers and shippers will take inventory and determine how many onions remain in storage. We may see a jump in prices at that time since many shippers have commitments until sometime in March or April. These contractual arrangements and a limited supply may cause the market to increase unless outside supplies can start earlier than normal.


We’ve seen the Washington market slip slightly this week but it may be a direct result of higher transportation costs. Trucks are tight throughout the Western states; however, with Christmas trees and a high volume of fruit moving, trucks in Washington state are tighter than other areas. We expect Washington to react similarly to Idaho.


We expect Utah to be higher on an FOB basis than Idaho/Oregon but not on delivered. As tight as trucks are at this point, the freight differential that Utah normally enjoys may not be as large as normal. Quality and movement have been very good and we expect most shippers to wind up sometime in February.


Onion size seems to vary greatly in Colorado. Yield also seems to vary. Quality looks good as they move forward with the harvest. Market price is stable.


Planting for early onions is just about completed and the weather has been perfect. Early projections are for a late January harvest. However, rain at the wrong time can cause that time to change.


Freight rates in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington continue to be high and will remain so throughout the holiday season. Demand for trucks is high with heavy shipping from these locations. Transportation issues are hurting movement with truck and rail car shortages which may continue to be a problem.

Christmas tree shipping has started and will tighten things up even more. The holidays are just around the corner which will create additional pressure.

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