China’s MY2016/17 fresh potato production is forecast to rise 3% to 100 million tons due to an expanded potato acreage and normal weather conditions in major producing areas, says the USDA in a new GAIN report.
The majority of China’s fresh potatoes are used for table consumption. Industry members estimate 60% of Chinese potatoes are consumed fresh in households and restaurants, while about 15% are used by the processing sector and about 10% for seed potatoes. Losses in storage account for as high as 15%.
The share of processing potatoes is expected to grow in the long term in China with increased development of potato products.
China’s top 3 potato export markets: Malaysia, Vietnam, Russia
China does not allow market access for fresh potato imports from any suppliers due to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) concerns. However, US government agencies are working with their Chinese counterparts to gain market access for US fresh potatoes for processing to China.
China’s exports of fresh potatoes have held steady at 300,000-450,000 tons annually since 2010/11, a negligible amount considering China annual production of about 100 million tons, the report says.
In 2016/17, China’s fresh potato exports are forecast at 400,000 tons, up slightly on 2015/16’s 381,424 tons. Malaysia, Vietnam and Russia are its top 3 export markets, accounting for over 65% of its total fresh potato exports in 2015/16.
Rising demand, production of frozen french fries (FFF)
China’s 2016/17 production of frozen french fries is forecast to rise 9% to 230,000 tons, driven by increasing domestic demand from quick serve restaurants and convenience stores.
China’s FFF imports for 2016/17 at expected to total about 160,000 tons, up 5% on the back of greater domestic demand. The US continues to dominate China’s FFF import market.