Good apple loading opportunities for produce truckers should remain throughout the season which normally continues into August. This will be particularly true for Washington state, the nation’s leading apple shipper.
There are significant differences in U.S. apple shipments by region, but fresh market apples remaining in storages stood at 120.3 million bushels on December 1st. This is an increase of 13 percent over a year earlier and 12 percent more than the five-year average of 107.5 million bushels.
New York state easily leads apple shipments in the Northeast and was particularly hit hard by cold weather at blossom time. Plus a persistent drought during the growing season didn’t help New York or other Northeastern apple shippers.
New York apples in storage as of last November 1st were down 28 percent from the same date a year earlier.
Also of interest is Michigan apple shipments now rank number 2 in the nation, having surpassed New York. Michigan apples in storages were 17 percent higher last November than the previous season, thanks primarily to good growing conditions.
Apples remaining in storage in the Western states, led by Washington, were 17 percent higher on November 1st than a year earlier.
Nationally, the total number of apples in storage was 179 million bushels, 11 percent more than the previous year total of 161 million bushels.
Apples are big business. The fruit had totaled $2.9 billion in total sales as of October 29th, or 7.3 percent more than the same period in 2015.
Gala was the dominant variety, with $670.5 million in sales, followed by Honeycrisp, $541.5 million; fuji, $386.6 million; granny smith, $330.9 million; red delicious, $311.3 million; Pink Lady, $157.5 million; golden delicious, $129.2 million; mcintosh, $80.5 million; and Ambrosia, $60.9 million.
Apple growers in Michigan harvested an estimated 31 million bushels in 2016, compared to New York’s total of an estimated 28 million bushels.
Washington had its second-largest apple crop in history — 137.4 million bushels as of November. The record is the 2014 crop of 142 million bushels. There are 7 million more cartons of red delicious and 5 million more of galas remaining in Washington storages, compared to 2015.
Apple shipments from Eastern growing areas hasn’t been as fortunate. There was a record cold snap in mid-April in Pennsylvania and other states, which may have reduced the New York and Pennsylvania crops by up to a third.
Yakima Valley (WA) apples and pears – grossing about $6400 to New York City.
Western Michigan apples – grossing about $3100 to Dallas.