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Japanese supermarkets, manufacturers and consumers are snapping up all the potato and chips they can find as a poor harvest from the country's top potato producing region hits fresh supplies, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Monday.
The northern island of Hokkaido is Japan's top potato producing region, accounting for 80 percent of Japan's potatoes, but bad weather last summer has hit potato arrivals. Spring potatoes will only reach markets in late May, Nikkei added.
Although snack makers do import fresh potatoes, stringent Japanese government regulations on quarantine makes the task challenging, Nikkei noted. Potato chip makers require potatoes that are different from table varieties.