In marketing year (April - March) 2020/21, Japan’s fresh potato acreage was 71,900 hectares (ha) and production was 2,204,000 metric tons (MT). These values represent a decrease of 3.4 percent in acreage and 8.1 percent in production volume compared to MY 2019/20. MY 2020/21 season in Hokkaido was characterized by unfavorable weather, including insufficient sunshine and low temperatures in the latter half of June.
Unfavorable weather conditions also impacted Hokkaido’s MY 2021/22 potato production as June and July brought unusually high temperatures and drought. As a result, FAS/Tokyo estimates Japan’s MY 2021/22 potato production to drop a further 18 percent to 1,800,000 MT.
MAFF categorizes Japan’s fresh potato use by sector into processing, table potato, starch potato, feed, seed potato and loss. Starch potato, seed and feed potato categories have steadily represented about 34 percent, 5.5 percent, and 0.1 percent, respectively of national production.
On the other hand, the processing sector has been increasing its annual share of the potato market by reducing natural loss and gradually replacing table potato varieties. In 2020, MAFF reported that approximately 25 percent of domestic potatoes went toward processing, of which approximately 70 percent was used for potato chips and 14 percent for frozen potato products, such as French fries.