As of June 1, 2023, total Canadian Potato Storage Holdings are reported to be down 3.3% over 2022 numbers for the same period, and higher than the 3-yr. average. As inventory winds down, many shippers across Canada are keeping an eye on stocks and metering out the old crop to ensure they can meet commitments through to new crop. There were a record 14.4 million cwt of potatoes shipped from storage in May 2023, an increase of 13% over April shipments and just 4.4% higher than in May 2022. We saw fresh and processing disappearance slightly lower this month but seed disappearance almost doubled, not surprisingly as planting began in earnest in May. Quebec and Manitoba saw slight increases in Fresh shipments while all other provinces’ movement in this sector was down, with the opposite in Processing as all provinces showed increased shipments of potatoes in the sector for May except Quebec and Manitoba. Most of the seed potatoes in the west had been shipped in April whereas the majority of seed movement in the east happened in the month of May, with 94% of December seed holding shipped as of the end of May.
Planting is now complete, or almost, in all provinces across Canada, with even some of the early Warba crop in BC harvested and in stores. The weather through planting was very good in all areas of the country, particularly compared to the cold, wet spring of last year, with most provinces reporting potatoes in the ground “on schedule”. However, in many provinces the weather has gotten hot and dry since planting, which has not yet impacted the crops drastically, but all growers are keeping a close eye on the forecast as the plants develop.
See the detailed reports by sector below: