Canadian Potato Situation and Trends 2006-2007 (3 of 9)

Canada's total exports for fresh and processed potatoes during the 2005-2006 crop year were C$1.020 billion. Imports totalled C$236 million resulting in a net positive trade balance of C$784 million. The export value of fresh and processed potatoes represented about 48% of all exports of fresh and processed vegetables. The United States is Canada's main export market with 80% of the value of potatoes and potato products.

Table Stock Potatoes

Based on the 2005-2006 marketing year, Canada's exports were 305,813 MT, down 3% from 2004-2005. The value of table stock potato shipments was C$121 million, up 33% from 2004-2005. Prices of 2005-2006 were 37% higher than to those of 2004-2005, and 16% more than the previous five-year average. This was mainly due to a production decline in Canada and the United States in 2005.

During 2005-2006, Canada's fresh exports to the U.S. were 274,022 MT, valued at C$110.9 million, up C$28.3 million from 2004-2005. The United States accounted for 91% of export value. Other important markets (C$ million) were Thailand (2.0), Trinidad-Tobago (1.72), Dominican Republic (1.54) Venezuela (1.53), and Barbados (1.22).

Canada imports U.S. fresh table potatoes mainly during May to July period with 64% coming from the state of Washington and California. These Imports from the U.S. increased by 7% in 2005-2006 at 192,268 MT, valued at C$93.4 million. Average prices were 34% higher than in the previous year.

Seed Potatoes

Seed export volume increased by 11% during the 2005-2006 crop year from 111,980 MT to 124,500 MT, and the value increased by 35% from C$29.5 to C$39.7 million. Exports to the U.S. accounted for C$27.5 million or 69% of Canada's exports. Other valued seed markets during the period (C$ million) include Mexico (5.3), Cuba (3.6), Venezuela (1.1) and Uruguay (0.8). Alberta exported 53,100 MT of seed potatoes followed by New Brunswick at 31,600 MT, Prince Edward Island at 13,900 MT, Saskatchewan at 11,300 MT, British Columbia at 10,800 MT and Manitoba at 2,900 MT. In 2005-2006, Canada exported seed potatoes to 18 countries compared to 20 the previous year. In the same year, Canadian imported 8,400 MT worth C$2.2 million of seed potatoes all from the U.S.

Table 6 - Canadian Table Stock and Seed Potato Balance of Trade, 1996-1997 - 2005-2006
Type 1996-
1997
1997-
1998
1998-
1999
1999-
2000
2000-
2001
2001-
2002
2002-
2003
2003-
2004
2004-
2005
2005-
2006
%
Change[*]
By Marketing Year (August to July)
* % Change from 2004-2005 to 2005-2006
Value (Cdn $ '000)
Table Stock
Exports 71,363 125,077 119,814 100,151 71,882 126,484 126,256 88,632 91,248 121,368 33%
Imports 81,584 93,580 81,327 91,552 93,122 154,843 108,511 61,797 65,182 93,425 43%
Trade Balance -10,221 31,497 38,487 8,599 -21,240 -28,359 17,745 26,835 26,066 27,943 7%
Seed
Exports 42,953 59,753 59,943 56,655 34,257 52,143 44,878 35,883 29,516 39,733 35%
Imports 2,962 4,214 3,365 3,671 3,754 3,409 3,824 3,245 3,569 2,191 -39%
Trade Balance 39,991 55,539 56,578 52,984 30,503 48,734 41,054 32,638 25,947 37,542 45%
Total
Exports 114,316 184,830 179,757 156,806 106,139 178,627 171,134 124,515 120,764 161,101 33%
Imports 84,546 97,794 84,692 95,223 96,876 158,252 112,335 65,042 68,751 95,616 39%
Trade Balance 29,770 87,036 95,065 61,583 9,263 20,375 58,799 59,473 52,013 65,485 26%
Volume (MT)
Table Stock
Exports 278,034 435,335 373,289 339,260 233,377 280,581 342,523 307,831 315,894 305,813 -3%
Imports 253,402 229,427 199,165 241,877 222,410 272,779 245,444 148,297 179,521 192,266 7%
Trade Balance 24,632 205,908 174,124 97,383 10,967 7,802 97,079 159,534 136,373 113,547 -17%
Seed
Exports 153,546 190,544 180,778 168,561 107,073 140,399 126,888 152,885 111,980 124,501 11%
Imports 11,837 14,864 11,767 12,526 12,648 10,048 11,921 11,667 13,969 8,397 -40%
Trade Balance 141,709 175,680 169,011 156,035 94,425 130,351 114,967 141,218 98,011 116,104 18%
Total
Exports 431,580 625,879 554,067 507,821 340,450 420,980 469,411 460,716 427,874 430,314 1%
Imports 265,239 244,291 210,932 254,403 235,058 282,827 257,365 159,964 193,490 200,663 4%
Trade Balance 166,341 381,588 343,135 253,418 105,392 138,153 212,046 300,752 234,384 229,651 -2%

Processed Potatoes

During the 2005-2006 year, the Canadian French fry production experienced a 3% decline over the previous year (Table 9). During the same period, Canadian exports of frozen fries decreased by 4% in value compared to the previous marketing year, the second decrease in 15 years. The volume of exports increased by .35% from 966,731 MT to 970,104 MT. (Table 7)

A higher Canadian dollar has reduced the competitiveness of Canadian potato products in U.S. markets and encouraged fry processors to move a part of their processing capacity from Canada to the U.S. Canadian exports to the U.S. represent 78% of export volume, Japan 5%, Mexico 3.4%, Venezuela 1.8% and China 1.8%. In all, fries were shipped to more than 64 countries around the world. During 2005-2006, the relative importance of Canadian French fry exports to the United States compared to total exports decreased by 2% from 80% to 77%, based on the previous marketing year. Canada's exports to the U.S. accounted for about 57% of the total Canadian fry production. Canada imported C$58.5 million of frozen fries, an increase of 14% over 2004-2005. The U.S. accounted for 99.8% of these imports.

Table 7 - Canadian Processed Potato Balance of Trade, 1996-1997 - 2005-2006
Type 1996-
1997
1997-
1998
1998-
1999
1999-
2000
2000-
2001
2001-
2002
2002-
2003
2003-
2004
2004-
2005
2005-
2006
%
Change[*]
By Marketing Year (August to July)
* % Change from 2004-2005 to 2005-2006
1 French fries and potatoes, frozen, uncooked
2 Chips, dried, starch, canned and salad potatoes
Value (Cdn $ '000)
Frozen [1]
Exports 312,069 419,242 513,659 637,272 651,218 738,353 745,081 903,455 832,009 800,290 -4%
Imports 16,484 29,526 29,047 18,121 24,109 39,747 37,930 45,551 51,445 58,472 14%
Trade Balance 295,585 389,716 484,612 619,151 627,109 698,606 707,151 857,904 780,564 741,818 -5%
Others [2]
Exports 18,811 19,756 23,021 55,938 79,912 79,562 94,156 79,823 62,912 59,215 -6%
Imports 76,795 90,065 90,958 89,523 85,588 116,621 106,988 109,005 102,615 82,446 -20%
Trade Balance -57,984 -70,309 -67,937 -33,585 -5,676 -37,059 -12,832 -29,182 -39,703 -23,231 -41%
Total
Exports 330,880 438,998 536,680 693,210 731,130 817,915 839,237 983,278 894,921 859,505 -4%
Imports 93,279 119,591 120,005 107,644 109,697 156,368 144,918 154,556 154,060 140,918 -9%
Trade Balance 237,601 319,407 416,675 585,566 621,433 661,547 694,319 828,722 740,861 718,587 -3%
Volume (MT)
Frozen [1]
Exports 357,932 455,255 528,173 622,449 637,197 738,408 789,898 1,033,477 966,731 970,104 0%
Imports 13,883 25,436 23,682 14,764 19,263 33,219 30,872 36,224 33,226 46,751 41%
Trade Balance 344,049 429,819 504,491 607,685 617,934 705,189 759,026 997,253 933,505 923,353 -1%
Others [2]
Exports 10,857 13,859 12,701 28,912 38,394 40,914 51,295 53,527 46,815 40,232 -14%
Imports 32,974 39,538 42,036 39,431 39,162 49,801 47,212 42,761 37,289 32,633 -12%
Trade Balance -22,117 -25,679 -29,335 -10,519 -768 -8,887 4,083 10,766 9,526 7,599 -20%
Total
Exports 368,789 469,114 540,874 651,361 675,591 779,322 841,193 1,087,004 1,013,546 1,010,336 0%
Imports 46,857 64,974 65,718 54,195 58,425 83,020 78,084 78,985 70,515 79,384 13%
Trade Balance 321,932 404,140 475,156 597,166 617,166 696,302 763,109 1,008,019 943,031 930,952 -1%

During 2005-2006, Canada also imported C$82 million of other potato products representing 20% less in value than the previous year, mostly potato chips (C$42.2 million).

It should be noted that Canada's processors are currently not contracting any genetically-engineered (GE) potatoes to comply with their customers' preferences.