Just about everyone is in agreement there will be fewer U.S. apple shipments this season, which extends into the late summer of 2019. How many fewer, depends upon whom you ask.
The U.S. Apple Association is predicting 256.16 million, 42-pound cartons will be shipped. This is 6 percent below the USDA’s forecast, as well a 6 percent less than a year ago.
Western Apple Shipments
More specifically, the U.S. Apple Association is predicting this season’s Washington apple shipments will be at 155 million cartons, which is 10 percent below the USDA’s forecast of 171.4 million cartons. The U.S. Apple estimate for Washington is off 13 percent from 2017 shipments and 5 percent below the five-year average.
Washington growers reported that
The early harvested apple crop has fallen short of the expectations of Washington growers due to uneven bloom timing, which resulted in uneven maturity rates in orchards.
In total, Western U.S. apple shipments are estimated at 166.2 million cartons, off 9 percent from the USDA’s estimate and 12 percent below a year ago.
Midwest and Eastern Apple Shipments
The U.S. Apple Association and USDA figures pretty well match for Michigan and New York. The U.S. Apple estimates for New York is 31 million cartons, unchanged from the USDA estimate of 30.9 million cartons and the same as last year’s output.
Michigan apple shipments estimated U.S. Apple stand at 28 million cartons, unchanged from the USDA’s 27.96 million carton estimate. Michigan’s forecasted crop is 40 percent above a year ago and 8 percent higher than the five-year average.
Michigan accounts for about 90 percent of Midwest apple shipments.
BelleHarvest Fruit Sales Inc. of Belding, MI reports while this season’s forecast shows a nice rebound in volume, it falls short of the record 2016 apple shipments of 30.4 million cartons.
Fifty percent of the Michigan apple crop will consist of Fuji, Honeycrisp and gala, a number expected to increase in coming years.
The U.S. Apple estimate for the Midwest stands at 31.6 million cartons, virtually unchanged from the USDA estimate of 31.4 million cartons and up 35 percent from a year ago.
Eastern Apple Shipments
Crist Brothers Apple Orchards of Walden, NY points out various apple shipping regions in the East have similar volume to last year, which includes New England’s Vermont, which had some dry weather.
Virginia apple shipments have experienced excessive rains since last May and June, but is still expecting normal shipments.
Pennsylvania apple shipments are expected to total 12-million bushels, down 5 percent from last year.
New York apple shipments from Hudson Valley should be similar to the five-year average.
Western New York shipments are predicted to be about the same as a year ago.
The U.S. Apple estimate predicts Eastern U.S. apple shipments to total 58.4 million cartons, nearly unchanged from the USDA’s estimate of 58.7 million cartons and down only 1 percent from a year ago.