In May 2022, the U.S. potato industry estimated that access for U.S. fresh potatoes to all of Mexico would provide a market potential of $250 million per year, in five years. In the first 10 months of 2023, progress was made with exports valued at $92.5 million.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the increase in exports means that Mexico has surpassed Canada to become the main destination for U.S. fresh potatoes. Sales to Canada stood at $82.5 million.
Changes in trade flows are of interest for the entire North American continent.
Since 2003, the United States had been seeking authorization to ship fresh potatoes to all of Mexico and eliminate the restriction to a 26-kilometer zone along the border between both countries. In April 2021, the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico backed the Mexican regulatory agency in allowing greater access to U.S. fresh potatoes. Subsequently, in 2021, Mexico completed the regulatory requirements to allow access for U.S. fresh potatoes in cities with populations exceeding 100,000 inhabitants, and from May 2022, the United States began to export fresh potatoes to Mexico beyond the 26-kilometer zone.
The U.S. government has been closely monitoring the situation to ensure transparent and reliable access to the Mexican market for U.S. exporters. Other notable destinations for U.S. potatoes are Japan ($15.5 million), Honduras ($13.8 million), and Taiwan ($11 million). In total, potato exports from the United States totaled $266 million globally, registering a year-on-year increase of 16.1 per cent.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce