A french fry shortage could be coming because of a weak potato harvest.
According to a report by Bloomberg, cool conditions started to hit growing regions in October, lashing potatoes with frost. Farmers in Alberta and Idaho were able to dig up some damaged crops for storage. But growers in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota received snow and rain, forcing them to abandon some supplies in fields.
“As the wild weather hurt crops, an increase in fry-processing capacity in Canada has boosted demand. The combination will lead to tight supplies, and it’s likely that potato prices could climb this year across North America,” said Stephen Nicholson, a senior grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank, in a phone interview. “International costs may also rise as the U.S. won’t be able to export as much.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates domestic potato output will drop 6.1% this year. CNBC reports that the lowest level since 2010.
Idaho, the nation’s top potato producer, is expected to see its harvest fall 5.5%.The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates domestic potato output will drop 6.1% this year. CNBC reports that the lowest level since 2010.