Sweet potato supplies coming out of California are starting to look slim

“Some things are getting tight,” says Duane Hutton of Livingston, Ca.-based Yagi Brothers Produce Inc. “The reds are tight, the Japanese are tight, we’re probably adequate on the Beaureguards and the sweets.” It is after all on the finishing end of the 2016 crop and awaiting the 2017 crop which probably won’t be harvested until August. “And we’re finishing a bit earlier. I think it’s just year-to-date sales. The crop wasn’t looking big last year nor was the acreage but year-to-day sales have been really good,” Hutton says.

Demand steady

In turn, demand has been consistent for the sweet potatoes—Yagi sees consistent demand west of the Rocky Mountains but also has some business in the Midwest and the East Coast. That said, it’s coming into the season when demand tends to drop for sweet potatoes with the heat.

Altogether it’s left pricing relatively soft. “Early on, there was a perception that some varieties might be long and people were cautiously selling at lower prices than they should have,” he says. “The market has proven that supplies were not long and they should have been getting better prices all year long.”

Given the tight market, Hutton thinks some holes in supply will be coming. “Some people are not going to be able to fill some orders and probably going to shift over to other sellers. But it’s also the time of year where the usage kind of declines because of the heat,” he says. “It’s always a difficult time of year to predict what’s going to happen because supply is going down and the consumer is consuming less too.”

For more information:
Duane Hutton
Yagi Brothers Produce Inc.
Tel: +1-209-394-7311

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