By The Northwest Cherry Growers
As the last of our mid-season shippers wind down their business for the year, the bulk of cherry shipments are shifting to the later producing regions. Packing lines are running around the clock as our industry gears up to finish the season in August with strong promotable volume for the next several weeks.
The 2018 shipped crop to date (in 20-pound box equivalents) stands at 19,473,061 million boxes.
Strong cherry shipments from the Northwest are expected, lead by Washington state, through July and into at least early August.
Since July 1st, the Northwest cherry industry has maintained an average of 529,491 boxes (20-pound) shipped per day, which has increased by a daily average of 9,000 boxes since this time last week. Two days ago on July 17th, was the 30th day in a row of shipments since we first shipped more than a half-million boxes of cherries in a day this season. The daily average for that 30-day period is 561,422 boxes daily.
In the past, we’ve reported on the number of days in row that our collective industry shipments exceeded 500,000 boxes on average. Sundays typically see lower shipment volumes than the other 6 days, so an average is a fair calculation of the overall pace of the industry. Our several days of exceptionally high volumes in June, however, make the count for this year a bit misleading. By the traditional math, June 17th was the 39th day in a row feeding into that cumulative daily (500K) average. But working backwards, that string of daily averages takes us all the way back to the 8th day of shipping this season, when shipments for the day totaled 216,000 boxes. No matter the math though, I think we can agree that it’s a lot of fruit. Likewise, many shippers continue to run double shifts just to keep up with the demand for the especially dark, extra sweet late-season cherries our industry is shipping right now.
Washington cherries – grossing about $4700 to Chicago.