Prince Edward Island potatoes benefit from low Canadian dollar

Potato growers in Prince Edward Island are seeing increased demand from the United States this season, helping to offset a weak domestic market. 

“We’re seeing better demand than last year from the U.S.,” says Jennifer Harris of Mid-Isle Farms, Inc. 

Harris attributes the stronger south-of-the-border demand to the weak Canadian dollar and smaller yields out of Idaho. Harris says that the Canadian dollar, which currently sits at 75 cents U.S., has given her company an advantage over American growers, along with Mid-Isle's quality of crop this season. As for Idaho, Harris explains, “Last year, Idaho had a huge crop. This year, they had a heat wave that limited yields.”

Weak domestic market
That increase in demand has been good news for Mid-Isle, as strong yields from growers in Quebec, have saturated the Canadian potato market. Quebec growers saw high yields this year due to favorable weather, helping drive prices down across Canada. A lack of storage compounded that problem. Quebec suppliers were quick to sell off product, causing prices to drop even further. Harris reports that some 10 lb. bags out of Quebec were selling for as low as 80 cents, compromising the market for P.E.I. growers.

“We don’t like being anywhere below $1.60.”

Eye toward new year
While slightly stronger U.S. demand has kept Mid-Isle stable, Harris says that U.S. prices are somewhat comparable to this time last year. Harris, however, explains that Mid-Isle remains well-positioned. With crops “98% to 99%” harvested, Mid-Isle is biding its time.

“As it stands right now, we’re optimistic we’ll see increases toward the end of the year,” Harris says of prices. “Typically we start heavier into the Canadian markets after the new year anyway.”

For more information:
Jennifer Harris
Mid-Isle Farms, Inc.
Tel: +1 (902)-855-2155

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