Crop News

Water Chestnut Season Underway in China


United States

Potato market conditions still uncertain due to covid.  While retail sales for frozen potatoes has surged by about 19%, foodservice sales are still looking dim compared to a year ago.  U.S. frozen product production declined by about 8% during the 12 months ending November 30th.   There could be some processing supply constraints for fryers/processors in the Columbia Basin and Idaho, unless open market potatoes are used.   Idaho has been moving potatoes to Midwest and Canada to cover shortages in those area.

 The cooler temperatures and wet weather slowed down green bean progress in the Midwest this season and there will be shortages of beans coming out of this area.

Frozen Fruit stocks in the U.S are down 18% – 20% from last year.

Specifically, cherries show a 25% decrease from last year due to a frost in Michigan in May.  Michigan is the largest cherry producing state in the U.S.  

Raspberries are reported as being down by about 12% with most of this being puree and juice stock.  

The blueberry number is a 4% decrease with most of this being wild blueberries which produced a 20% lower volume crop this past season.  

Strawberry stocks are at a 29% decrease compared to last year and due to the popularity of this item demand is expected to continue through 2021.


Now in peak production for both broccoli and cauliflower, quality and yields are reported as good and factories are running at capacity.   Weather conditions are warm and sunny.

Spinach season in Mexico is now underway and is expected to run through April/May.  

Blueberries and raspberry season are ongoing.


Broccoli harvest for most in this area is winding down.  Conditions were good with plenty of rain to push crops along.   Guatemala’s okra season has begun and will continue through middle of this month.   Sugar snap pea season is underway.


Blueberry harvest in the North and Central Zone are now completed.   Drought, warm temperatures and shortage of labor will keep blueberry prices firm.   The South region had rain which interrupted the harvest for a while, but things are now back on track. 

Storage stocks of frozen raspberries are 15% lower than last year, this in combination with difficultly in securing seasonal workers due to covid related issues will keep raspberry stocks low and prices high.


Green peas and beans remain very short in Europe with no relief in sight until new season.   Spinach and cauliflower are also short and in high demand.

In the global frozen French fry market there is stiff competition from Europe due to the volume of processing potatoes harvested this season.   Prices are low coming from Europe.   Due to covid 19 virus the demand in Europe for potatoes on open market are extremely low causing prices to drop.   Most processors are running factories at 80 to 90% capacity.  NEPG has reported that contracts with farmers for the coming year will be negotiated after the first of the year and it is expected that grower contract volumes will be down and estimated planted acreage will be reduced by 15% to 20%.

Potato processers in Europe are facing many challenges aside from the covid challenge.   The 2020 season was the first season in which CIPC was not allowed to be sprayed to prevent sprouting in storage potatoes.   Storage has become more expensive and the new anti-sprouting treatment is expensive and not working as well as CIPC…. some sprouting is still occurring.


Based on a recent GAIN Report, on January 7th, Japan announced a state of emergency as a third wave of Covid -19 infections hit that country.   Government programs to support domestic tourism have been suspended which will negatively impact hotel, restaurant and institutional sales.   Retail sales continue to be strong, while restaurant bankruptcies hit an all-time high.  Business travel and tourism has been halted at least until February 7th.   Royal Holdings has closed 90 stores, while Skylark Holdings has closed about 200 stores.

In regard to convenience stores, Rytusu News reported that December year on year sales were 5.7% lower at Lawson, down 5.2% at Family Mart, and 5.1% down at Ministop.   It is the 10th month in a row of decreasing sales.

Japan foresees continued difficulty in the foodservice and tourism industry while retail sales are expected to remain strong.


Sweet Corn was affected by strong weather patterns.  Wind and Rain were reported in the growing regions.  Raw Product has been forecasted to be lower than predicted. 

Edamame season in China has been affected by heavy rains and flooding and reduced yields are anticipated.  Prices have increased dramatically, and limited product is available. Water Chestnut season is underway, but the outlook is not good.   Due to low prices last year, acreage was cut by approximately 1/3 and weather-related problems such as rain will affect the yields.






















日本では1月7日に緊急事態宣言が再発令されました。観光業支援事業のGo Toトラベルキャンペーンは全国で一時停止されており、ホテルやレストランの売り上げに影響が出るでしょう。小売業は以前として好調ですが、レストランの倒産は史上最多となっています。Go Toトラベルの一時停止措置は3月7日まで延長されました。ロイヤルホールディングスは90店、すかいらーくグループは200店を閉店する計画です。







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