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US potatoes in the spudlight: Forecasting a new norm in abnormal times

The pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and drought continue to impact the US potato sector in many ways.

Covid-19-related foodservice closures and the sector’s lagging full recovery still loom over growers upstream, increasing uncertainty and keeping a lid on acreage growth. The surge in input costs and the prices of acreage-competing crops brought by supply chain crises and the war also dampen potato acreage expansion plans. And the persistent, multi-year drought and heat stress in the Western United States still carry the risk of a reduced yield, similar to last year. 

Rabobank research projects the annual average fresh market potato price to increase slightly from the previous year to USD 13.70/cwt, whereas the annual average processing potato price is projected to increase by 22% to about USD 11.00/cwt. 

Growers’ margins are likely to be tight given rising input costs. The projected increase in the processing potato price implies that contract prices will likely increase by a similar percentage to incentivize growers to commit more acreage. The cost of delivering potatoes to final buyers and consumers will remain high, but will rise more slowly into 2023.


For more information: research.rabobank.com


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