Posts Tagged “apple shipments”

U.S. Pumpkin Shipments are Strong this Fall: Honeybear Pazazz Apple Shipping Period to Double

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DSCN0085Pumpkin shipments in the U.S. should equal or exceed the volume of a year ago, thanks to a bountiful harvest, favorable growing conditions in the six states that account for 50 percent of the pumpkins in the nation….Also, Honeybear Pazazz apple shipments will increase substantially this season.

Last year 1.6 billion pounds of pumpkins were shipped.  Some observers believe this year’s U.S. pumpkin totals by the end of the season could be one of the best on record.

Decorative pumpkins such as jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin pie filling and yogurt remain popular.  However, it is the new and different uses of pumpkins such as liquid coffee, cereal and dog food where demand is really soar.

Libby’s supplies nearly 80 percent of U.S canned pumpkins.  Libby’s is a unit of Nestle SA, which is also the parent company of Nestle Purina Petcare, the world’s No. 2 pet food manufacturer.  Pets apparently love pumpkins, plus there is antioxidant-like benefits and dietary fiber content. Purina uses real pumpkins to accent its cat and dog food recipes year round.

Dog food sales with pumpkin flavors soared to $41.9 million for the 52-week period ending July 29, compared with $925,288 during a similar period in 2013.

The liquor market for pumpkins, including pumpkin-flavored craft beers, has declined in recent years with ever changing millennials switching to other flavors.

Pazazz Apples

 The Pazazz premium apple variety, now in its fourth year of commercial introduction by Honeybear Brands, ships early November to many markets and will be available at retail until early April while supplies last.

With its largest volume ever, Pazazz should be available for five to six months this year instead of the usual three.

Pazazz will also be available in 50-75 percent more retail markets than previous years as the crop reaches full maturity.

Retailers include Wegmans in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland; Loblaws in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec; Publix in all stores and all markets; all Hy-Vee in Iowa as well as Kansas City and Minnesota; Meijer in Illinois Michigan and Ohio; Kroger in Kentucky, Central Indiana, Michigan, Eastern Illinois and Texas; Ralphs in California; QFC in Oregon and Washington; and United Supermarkets in Texas and New Mexico. Additional markets and stores may be added in the coming weeks and months.

Honeybear, based in Brewster, WA,  is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties. The company started as Wescott Agri Products, a family run apple orchard in the early 1970s. From that early start several generations ago, Honeybear still employs the same hands-on, personal attention to apple varieties produced through the Honeybear Apple Varietal Development Program. Honeybear is the leading grower of Honeycrisp in the Northwest and offers complete domestic and global apply supply integration from varietal development to growing, packing, shipping and retailer support.


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Port Everglades Sets a Containerized Cargo Record; WA Apples Shipments Slow out of the Gate

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DSCN0001Fresh fruits and vegetables play a big role in the record setting containerized cargo arrivals at Port Everglades… Meanwhile, Washington apple loadings are down compared to September of last year.

By Port Everglades

Fresh produce imports played a major role in Port Everglades (Fla.), setting a record for containerized cargo volumes with 1.077 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in fiscal year 2017.

That’s a 4 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year totals and 1.5 percent over the previous record, set in fiscal year 2015. The port’s fiscal year ended September 30th, according to a news release.

“The volumes of refrigerated produce coming into Florida through Port Everglades from Central America is significant,” Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steve Cernak said.  “It represents more than half of all perishable cargo that arrives in Florida by ocean.”

Apparel, tile, beverages, machinery and automobile parts are also significant categories imported through the port.


Apple Shipments

Apple shipments, as well as volumes and sales were off this season at retail compared to a year ago in September due to a harvest gap, according to data compiled from Nielsen Fresh Facts.

Washington state apples had a record early harvest start last year, and started about 10 days later than normal this year, causing the lag at retail. according to a news release from Stemilt Growes, based in Wenatchee WA.

Volume, sales and shipments should pick up soon as harvests conclude and retailers have big enough supplies to offer ad specials on apples.

Apples were 5.9 percent of total produce department sales in September, compared with 6.5 percent  last year.

Gala, red delicious, fuji, Honeycrisp and granny smith were the top five varieties, and club variety Sweetango cracked the top 10.

The average September retail price for all varieties was $1.66, and nearly 66 percent of sales were in bulk.  Two-thirds of bagged apple sales in September were 3-pound bags.

Sizing is smaller on apples than in 2016.

Washington apple shipments – grossing about $5000 to Chicago.

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A Fall Shipping Update from Several Key U.S. Produce Areas

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DSCN4898In typical fall fashion here are some of the better loading opportunities from four important produce U.S. shipping states.


While apple shipments may not set a record this season, plenty will be available for hauling as another big crop is forecast.  Last season harvest was so huge, believe it or not, some shippers are still loading “old” apples from last season.  That’s okay, if your receiver is aware of it.  Just make sure they know what is being loaded.  Nearly 1800 truckload equivalents of apples are being loaded weekly primarily from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys.  Around 400 truckload equivalents of Washington pears are being shipped as well, with the best volume yet to come.

Idaho and Oregon

Another big crop of Idaho potatoes will be shipped between now and late next summer.  Nearly 1600 truckload equivalents of primarily russet potatoes are being loaded weekly from the four primarily Idaho shipping areas lead by the Idaho Falls area.

Western Idaho and Malhuer County Oregon are shipping over 600 truckloads on storage onions per week.   Last winter a number of onion storage sheds and other buildings were heavily damaged in Nyssa and Ontario, Oregon due to two separate winter storms, but adequate facilities appear to be in place for the new shipping season.

South Texas Produce Shipments

Literally dozens of tropical fruits and vegetables are crossing the border from Mexico at Pharr, Texas, but a majority of the are in light volume at this point.  Vine ripe tomatoes are perhaps providing the heaviest volume with about 500 truckloads per week.  Limes may be among the heavier volume tropical fruits with nearly 350 truckloads weekly.

Many Mexican items are just getting underway and in the coming weeks will provide better hauling opportunities ranging from strawberries to raspberries, honeydew, papayas and pineapples among others.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley grapefruit harvest is barely underway with good volume arriving in November.


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Bay Baby Produce Breaks Ground On New Facility; SweeTango Apple Shipments are Going Well

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A new production, storage and shipping for produce is coming to Burlington, WA.  Meanwhile, shipments of the popular SweeTango apples are well under way.

by Bay Baby Produce Inc.

Burlington, WA – Bay Baby Produce Inc., a North American grower and leader in painted pumpkins, long stem ornamentals, and winter organic squash, has broken ground on their new state of the art facility.

After a long process of approvals, Bay Baby Produce Inc. broke ground on their new, state of the art, facility mid June. The new 55,000 square foot facility will offer expansive production, storage and shipping capabilities, as well as be home to their corporate office. The expanded space will allow for increased production capacity and will make it possible to meet the increased demand for Bay Baby Produce’s products in current and expanded markets. Their new facility is expected to be operational for their 2018 season.

About Bay Baby Produce Inc.

Bay Baby Produce, a woman-owned business for over 3o years, is located in the Skagit Valley, Burlington,WA. This area is one of the most fertile growing regions in North America. Our mission is to be a consistently reliable source for high quality painted pumpkins, long stem ornamentals, organic squash and value-added products grown on our farm. This new expansion will allow Bay Baby Produce to continue to grow well into the future.

SweeTango Apple Shipments

by Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative

WENATCHEE, WA  –  Harvest has begun for the 2017 crop of SweeTango apples.  With orchards spread across prime apple-growing regions in Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and Nova Scotia, Canada, timing of harvest varies by region, typically beginning in the West and concluding a few weeks later in Nova Scotia.  The anticipated total crop is slightly larger than last season’s.

The West and Midwestern regions began picking on August 21, and the Eastern region will begin next week followed by Nova Scotia later in September.

The SweeTango season officially began as the apples first reach markets near Labor Day.


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Shipping Outlooks: Hurricane Damaged FL; ID Spuds, WA Apples and Imported Mangoes

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DSCN0043Here’s a shipping outlook for different areas and commodities ranging from Florida after Hurricane Irma, to Idaho potatoes, Washington apples and imported mangoes.

Florida’s projected 75 million-box orange crop may have been slashed by 40 percent or more due to Hurricane Irma, depending on where the groves are located.  Heavy losses are also are expected with grapefruit and other items.

This is the off season for many Florida vegetable shipments, but products such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and strawberries in South Florida took a big hit and replantings will result in shipments being at least a month or two if not more later than normal.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato shipments from the season that recently ended was 12 percent over that of two years ago.  The diggings for the current crop are underway off of  308,000 acres, which is 15,000 acres less than last year.  However, Idaho will still have plenty of potatoes to haul.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

Apple Shipments

Red delicious will soon lose its status as the volume leader in the Washington apple industry as the variety will amount to 25 percent of the 2017-18 crop, off about 5 percent from recent years.

Gala apples should account for 23 percent of the new crop, and is on track to surpass red delicious this season or next.  Red Delicious popularity has declined because of a number of new varieties that are considered to taste better.  Growers have been planting proprietary varieties or improved versions of varieties such as gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Cosmic Crisp.

Over 600,000 Honey Crisp trees were planted this year, and about 5.5 million more will go in the ground next year.  A significant reason for more Honey Crisp planting is it has a harvest window very similar to that of the Red Delicious.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City.

Mango Imports

As Mexican mango imports seasonally decline the slack its being picked up by imports from Brazil.  Brazil’s season is expected to continue through November with a projection of approximately 8.2 million boxes  Peak imports are expected mid-September to mid-October.

As Brazilian imports wind down, imports will be available from Ecuador followed by Peru, which will take production into the new year with the return to volume from Mexico coming in March.

Mexican mangoes through Nogales – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.



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Eastern Apple Shipments Should Show an Increase for the Second Straight Year

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DSCN0030A second consecutive increase in apple shipments from all of the Eastern states has been predicted by a recent USDA forecast.

New York state us the second-largest apple shipping state in America and has an estimated volume for this season of 28.5 million 42-pound carton equivalents.  This is a two percent increase over 2016’s 28.1 million cartons, but well below 30 million-plus production of the three season of 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Pennsylvania the  second-largest apple shipper among the Eastern states and is forecast to have 11.7 million cartons, which would be up 11 percent over 2016’s 10.5 million cartons.  Virginia’s estimate is 5.2 million cartons, up a whopping 22 percent over a year-ago when volume stood at 4.3 million boxes. Virginia avoided a devastating spring freeze, unlike a year ago, so it should ship way more fruit this year.

West Virginia is predicted to have 2.2 million cartons, which  is 18 percent higher than the 1.9 million cases from last year.

But to put this in perspective, Washington state should ship 159.5 million cartons of apples in 2017, down eight percent from the 174.3 million cartons in 2016.  Meanwhile, Michigan’s estimate is 19 million cartons, off 32 percent from nearly 28 million a year ago.

In the Gardners, PA areas the first harvested apples of the season took place the week of August 7th with, ginger golds, while galas and Honeycrisps followed within days.

New Eastern Apple Varieties

In New York two of the newest apple varieties are on the brink of major shipping increases.  Crunch Time Apple Growers of Wolcott, NY, a grower cooperative, which has 145 growers, and ships about 60 percent of the apples in New York.  It expects to load 100,000-boxes for the first time this season, which will be the fourth year for SnapDragon and fifth for RubyFrost.  This would nearly double the shipments this season for these varieties.  The new crop of SnapDragons will be on the market in the fall, with RubyFrost shipping out of storage in January.

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Shipping Updates for California Kiwifruit; Mango imports; U.S. Apples

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DSCN0005The first shipping forecast for California kiwifruit has been issued, while we take a look at coming mango imports, and domestic apples loading opportunities.

California kiwifruit shipments are expected to be off only a little from a year ago when California growers produced 31,324 tons.  An initial forecast this season, which is called by some “conservative,” estimates there will 30,449 tons of kiwi.  About 98 percent of the U.S.-grown kiwifruit is produced in California.

Around 80 percent of of the crop is shipped to domestic markets, while some fruit exported, primarily to Mexico, Canada and Japan.

California kiwifruit shipments occur from late September until April

Western Fresh Marketing Services Inc.,  of Madera, CA. should start initial shipments the third or fourth week of September.

The Flavor Tree Fruit Co. LLC, Hanford, CA., will have 86 acres of gold kiwifruit grown under large tents this season as the company plans to ship about 50,000 cartons of gold kiwifruit from October until January and possibly February.

Mexican Mango Imports

Imported mangoes from Mexico should continue through September.  Light volumes of imported mangoes from Brazil are now arriving at U.S. ports.  Brazilian mango imports will peak in mid October and run until November, with a projected 7.8 million boxes.

Meanwhile, Through the week ending Aug. 12th, Mexico had shipped about 67.9 million boxes, up from about 66 million boxes through the same week in 2016.

 Apple Shipments

The U.S. Apple Association projects a 248.3 million carton crop for 2017-18, which would be 8 percent smaller than last year, but right on the 5-year average.

“There’s every reason to be optimistic about this year’s apple crop,” said Mark Nicholson, co-owner of Red Jacket Orchards, Geneva, N.Y.

The estimate is only 400,000 42-pound cartons lower than the USDA estimate from a few weeks ago.  The estimate came at the conclusion of the association’s annual Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference, August 24-25 in Chicago.

The Washington crop is estimated at 159.5 million cartons, 1 percent higher than the 5-year average but 8 percent smaller than last season.  New York’s crop is estimated at 28 million cartons, 1 percent above the 5-year average and nearly the same as last year’s production.


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Overall USDA Apple Shipping Forecast is Looking Good, Despite Drop in Volume

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applepixA USDA crop production report predicts U.S. apple shipments will be down 7 percent compared to last season.

The apple crop (both fresh and processed uses) should total 248.6 million 42-pound cartons, off from the 268.4 million cartons in the 2016 season. year ago.

On the up side, apple shipments from the Eastern state will increase.  However, a significant decline in apple volume is predicted for the Central U.S. states, while a moderate decrease is seen in Western growing regions.

The Western states, led by Washington, are projected to total 170.4 million cartons, down 9 percent from a year ago, according to the estimates.  The Washington apple harvest is running a few weeks later than 2016, according to the USDA, with good quality but slightly smaller fruit expected compared with the 2016 crop.

Washington state apple shipments are  pegged at 159.5 million cartons, off 9 percent from the 2016 crop of 174.3 million cartons.  The state is expected tol account for 64 percent of total U.S. apple shipments in 2017, down from 65 percnt in 2016.
In Eastern U.S. states, apple loadings are forecast at 55.7 million cartons, up 8 percent from 2016.  New York, accounting for half of Eastern apple shipments, has a crop of 28.5 million cartons, up slightly from 28.1 million cartons a year ago.  Growers and shippers there reported localized hail damage and noted rainfall and cool temperatures could affect fruit size, according to the report.
Apple shipments in the Central U.S. is forecast at 22.5 million cartons, down 27 percent from a year ago.  A freeze in early May hurt Michigan crop prospects, according to the USDA. Michigan’s crop is projected at 19 million cartons, down more than 30 percent from 2016 output of nearly 28 million cartons.
In its Agricultural Prices report, the USDA said the average grower price for apples in June was 36.3 cents per pounds, down from 38 cents per pound in June last year.
The U.S. Apple Association will release its annual crop production estimate during the Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference Aug. 24-25 in Chicago

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Season’s 1st U.S. Apple Forecast; Plus a Look at CA Sweet Corn and Kiwi Imports

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DSCN9666Apple shipments for the upcoming 2017 shipping season are projected to increase.  Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse at California sweet corn shipments, as well as kiwifruit imports.
Western state apple loadings are forecast higher, while and Midwest and Eastern apple shipments are seen to be down slightly compared to last season.  The first estimate of the 2017 apple crop projects volume to hit 255.6 million (42-pound) cartons, up 2 percent from the previous season.
The 2017 estimate was released recently at the  Premier Marketing Apple Forum in Syracuse, N.Y.    The Premier estimate shows the East and Midwest region to be 4.5 percent less than the 2016 crop.  However, apple production in the Western U.S. is forecast to be up 5 percent compared with 2016.
The estimate is the first for the 2017 U.S. apple crop.
Apple Shipper Expanding

Fowler Farms of Wolcott, NY is a grower/shipper of apples and  is expanding the packing capacity it has for fruit coming from its 2,500-acre, six-farm operation.  The company is now installing a new eight-lane grader/sorter system.  The multimillion-dollar system should be operational in time for the start of Fowler’s apple harvest beginning August 1st.

Founded in 1856, family-owned Fowler Farms is one of the largest vertically integrated apple farms in the U.S., offering 23 varieties of fresh apples and a line of refrigerated ciders.

Sweet Corn Shipments

Uesugi Farms of Gilroy, CA shipped its first conventional crop of the season from the Coachella Valley before Memorial Day weekend, and the company is now harvesting in Brentwood, CA.  That harvest will continue in Gilroy.   The operation has added white, yellow and bi-color organic sweet corn to its list of products.  The organic sweet corn will come in packages of four ears, and is being harvested in Wasco, CA., and harvests will then move to Northern California, the Coachella Valley and Mexico.

Kiwifruit Imports

New Zealand kiwifruit imports by the U.S. should increase overall as the season is already underway for green conventional and organic kiwifruit, as well as SunGold conventional and organic fruit.  Imports started last May and will continue through November.  Kiwifruit is a rapidly growing in popularity and the SunGold in particular is expected to increase by 40 percent over last season.





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Stemilt Artisan Organics Apricot Harvest Set; Texas Onion Shipping Wrap Up

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DSCN0509+1by Stemilt Growers

WENATCHEE, Wash. –  Stemilt and their marketing partner, Douglas Fruit, are gearing up for another successful Artisan Organics® apricot season, which is predicted to start two weeks later than normal. Stemilt expects their organic apricots to begin harvest in late June, with volumes ramping up quickly for promotable volumes throughout July….Meanwhile, here’s a summary of the just finished Texas 1015 onion shipping season.

With a historic early start last year, it is only fitting to experience a late start for crops up and down the West Coast this year.

The Douglas family tree fruit growing roots date back to the 1890s and today, the fourth generation is hands-on when it involves the family’s growing and packing business, which includes apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, and cherries.  In 2007, the Douglas family started the transition process to move the majority of its apricot orchards to organic production, as well as their entire crop of peaches and nectarines, viewing the move to organic as an opportunity to differentiate the flavors of its stone fruits.

“We’ve found a great niche in growing apricots organically that matches well with our flavor focus,” said Jill Douglas, co-president of Douglas Fruit. “We farm in the best locale, Washington’s Columbia Basin, where warm days and cool nights create beautifully colored fruits with exceptional flavors. Artisan Organics® apricots really exceed standards thanks to the climate and organic farming practices.”

Stemilt accounts for approximately 40 percent of Washington State’s apricot crop taking the leading position in apricot production. Stemilt is also the leader in organic cots, with 60 percent of its entire apricot crop grown and certified as organic.  The leading variety that Stemilt produces is Robada.

The peak of organic apricot shipping season should start in early July and continue through the first three weeks of July.  Organic food sales are growing by double-digits annually.


Yakima Valley apple shipments – grossing about $5700 to New York City.


Texas Onion Shipments

Texas onion shipments were down early in the season, but finished strong where shipments for the overall season were about average.  The Lower Rio Grande Valley was hit by excessive rains and insect damage by thrips. Thrips are a minute black winged insect that sucks plant sap and can be serious pest to ornamental and food plants when present in large numbers. Texas 1015 onion shipments got underway in early March about a month earlier than normal.   Typically Texas will ship about 350 to 400 truck loads of 800 bags (40,000 pounds) daily, but during the period for Easter loadings shipments rose to around 480 to525 loads per day.

Lower Rio Grande Valley watermelon shipments – grossing about $4400 to New York City.


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