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Fresh Potato and Onion Market Update for 01/02/18

Fresh Potato and Onion Market Update for 01/02/18

Idaho: Potato demand is slowing down in Idaho. FOB prices have moderated on carton sizes. Quality remains good. Truck availability is still an issue with high rates making Idaho less competitive with other states who are closer to major markets.

Colorado: Demand will start to loosen up now Christmas has passed. Quality is good, and prices have inched up a bit but will remain steady as demand drops.

Wisconsin: Demand exceeds offerings for 10 oz. and larger size potatoes. Prices are firm and quality is good.ser to major markets.

We expect freight rates to remain high for the foreseeable future, due in part to the ELD program that is now in force. It will take some time to understand the significance of the new program.

Demand remains high for trucks with heavy shipping from all western locations. Transportation issues are hurting movement with truck and rail car shortages which may continue to be a problem. It appears these issues are causing slower movement in the Northwest.

Idaho/Oregon: In earlier reports, we’ve mentioned that the size and yield of the Idaho/Eastern Oregon onion crop were smaller than normal, with most growers reporting at least a 25% decrease in volume. The transportation shortage has slowed movement somewhat. Several contracts have been reduced, canceled, or have substituted trucks for rail at higher prices. All in all, quality is good and the market is steady. We don’t expect to see any big increase in price for at least the next several weeks.

Washington: Washington onions are very nice. Yields are generally average but size is a bit smaller than normal. Prices in Washington have slipped a bit but it’s due to transportation costs. Most shippers are reporting the market as steady. RailEx rates are moving up to follow the trucks but it appears Washington will have at least some transportation options that other areas may not enjoy. It’s hoped that trucks will loosen up after Christmas but the ELD mandate is the wild card at this moment.

Utah: The crop has nice size and produced more jumbo onions but with yields down a little. Look for the market to follow the other western states. Quality is excellent and overall Utah has a very good harvest. Trucks that finish in Salt Lake City give Utah an advantage for transportation some other areas don’t have at the moment.

Colorado: 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.

Mexico: Planting is underway for early onions 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.

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