Global demand for frozen potato products (comprised mostly of frozen fries) is forecast up 5 percent from last year, according a recent report by the USDA.
The rise in demand is due to strengthening economic growth from key importers and an expansion of fast food restaurants, especially in smaller markets.
U.S. exports are forecast up 5 percent on stronger demand from Mexico and the Philippines. Over the past decade, total exports have grown almost 50 percent. Mexico is a key market for the United States. In March 2009, Mexico imposed a 20 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. frozen fries after the trucking dispute, which reduced competitiveness and accelerated the shift to Canadian products. However, in October 2011, the issue was resolved and the tariff was removed, which should boost U.S. shipments and make U.S. potatoes more competitive.