Posts Tagged “Washington apple shipments”

Washington Apple Shipping Report Shows Larger Volume, Sizing

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By Pacificpro Sales LLC, Belleville, WA

Good volume shipments are expected this entire season through the summer into new crop, on the primary varieties.

The entire 2023 Washington apple crop is currently in storage and controlled atmosphere rooms and is shaping up to be a great season for growers and consumers alike.

The harvest began in mid- August with the Gala variety and finished in November with the latest season variety to be harvested, the Pink Lady. Estimates put the total crop size in the 134 million box range. This is up over the 5-year average and a significant increase from the 2022-23 crop of 104 million boxes, a 29% increase.

The large crop is due to the ideal growing season in the spring and summer of 2023. The lack of any significant freezes after the bloom, no significant hailstorms or other weather damage, and 90-degree temperatures this summer resulted in a very clean crop with great sizing, color, crispness and flavor.

The warm days but not overly hot days, which would be more than 100 degrees, are great for sizing and sweetness, and when coupled with the cooler nights, results in great color and condition.

The Gala variety tops the list as the largest volume Washington apple variety this season at roughly 20% of the total crop or 26.5 million boxes, followed by the Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Fuji.

The iconic Red Delicious has been usurped in recent years by the Gala as the largest Washington variety. The Honeycrisp saw a significant jump in total volume this year due to the larger crop and better quality resulting in higher pack-outs.

The newest broadly grown variety, the Cosmic Crisp, continues to grow in both availability and popularity, accounting for roughly 5% of this season’s total Washington crop.

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U.S. Apple Shipments Should be Up Substainally this Season

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The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) predicts the 2023-2024 apple crop will be up as much as 28%, compared to the 2022-2023 season, according to Markon Cooperative of Salinas, a produce buying operation.


  • The WSTFA projects approximately 134 million cases (40-pound packs) will be shipped during the 2023-2024 season, up from nearly 104 million cases in 2022-2023
  • The ample supply expectation for 2023-2024 follows last year’s short season, that was hindered by cold, rainy, and snowy weather during the growing process
  • Suppliers saw yearly averages of approximately 120 million cases prior to last year’s short crop
  • Expect level or below-average markets depending on variety


  • Growers saw a record-setting crop in 2022-2023, at nearly 32.4 million bushels (40-pound packs) harvested; ideal weather conditions in spring and summer 2022 bolstered the crop
  • Currently, Michigan apple growers aren’t expecting another record year, but are expecting close to 90% of last year’s crop total
  • Average seasonal yields prior to last season’s record crop were at 24 million bushels
  • Markets will ease once the new crop season is in full swing in September

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Washington State Apple Shipments Predicted to be Up by 9% This Season

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The nation’s leading apple shipper, Washington state, has a 2023 crop estimated at nearly 160 million bushels and valued at more than $2 billion — 9% higher than last year, according to USApple, of Falls Church, VA. The nonprofit industry association reports Washington accounts for 63.8% of U.S. apple production and 67.5% of the value.

Due to favorable weather, Washington expects to ship nearly 130 million cartons of apples this year, according to the Washington Tree Fruit Association. This compares to nearly 100 million cases shipped last season.

The Skagit Valley Food Co-op in Mt. Vernon, WA., ships about a dozen varieties of Washington apples in the fall, with four varieties available year-round.

Washington’s fuji apple has the largest volume year-round due to its price, which is often $1.49 per pound and sometimes as low as 99 cents per pound. This compares with $3.49 to $3.99 for other varieties. The apples are all organic.

Washington is home to more than 30 varieties of apples — some of them year-round mainstays, some more experimental new varieties, and others that fall somewhere in between. Of these apples, 72% go to the fresh market, according to USApple.

The state’s most popular apples are gala, Honeycrisp, red delicious and fuji.

Sage Fruit Co., Yakima, moves it biggest volume with Honeycrisp, gala, fuji, granny smith and Pink Lady. The fruit shipper handles sales and marketing for five grower-packer-shippers in the Pacific Northwest.

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Washington Apple Shipments are Similar to a Year Ago

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In November the Washington organic apple crop was projected to exceed 15 million cartons, while the Washington state overall crop was projected at 118 million cartons.

Domestic truck shipments of Washington conventional apples through December 25 equaled 24.4 million cartons, compared with 25 million cartons the same time a year ago, according to the USDA.

Through December 25, season-to-date domestic truck volume of Washington organic apples totaled about 5.5 million cartons, almost exactly the same volume as the same time a year ago.

Organic apple supplies are tight and getting tighter in the 2021-22 marketing season.

The December 25 average organic apple price was $56.26 per carton at U.S. wholesale markets tracked by the USDA, 41% higher than the $39.83 per carton average for conventional apples the same day.
The USDA reported size 72 Washington organic gala apples were trading at $34 to $36 per carton on December 29, up slightly from a year ago.

The USDA reported the national average shipping point price for organic apples on Dec. 25 was $29.65 per carton, just 3% higher than the average shipping point price for conventional apples at $28.96 per carton.

The U.S. average retail promoted price for organic apples was $1.81 per pound in early December, up from $1.61 per pound in early December 2020. 

Sage Fruit Co. of Yakima, WA notes both conventional and organic apple volume is down this season. About 15% of the company’s total crop is in organics, but that number is growing yearly.

At Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, WA, organics account for about 30% of its overall apple shipments.

Honeybear Marketing of Brewster, WA reports about 12% of the company’s shipments are with organic apples. Honeybear Marketing has more domestic organic trees coming into production in the 2021 season, boosting this year’s volume of organic apples. The company has supplies of organic galas, Honeycrisp, granny smith, fujis, Pink Lady and Cosmic Crisp.

Honeybear ships organic and conventional apples year-round because of its dual hemisphere program. During the winter and spring, it is loading its domestic supply, but in late summer, the company gradually shifts to its Southern Hemisphere apple program.

At CMI Orchards of Wenatchee, WA, organics account for about 15% to 20% of apple volume, and also as a dual hemisphere program for winter and spring.

Washington apples and pears – grossing $13,500 and more to New York City.

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Latest Forecast has 5% Drop in Washington Apple Shipments

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The first forecast since the apple harvest was completed last month has The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) concluding there will be fewer fresh apple shipments than under the previous estimate.

The August forecast estimated the Washington state apple harvest to be 124.85 million standard forty pound boxes of fresh apples.  After receiving updated data from WSTFA members who have picked a majority of the crop, that estimate has decreased by 5.3%. The decrease places the volume to be at 118.255 million boxes. 

WSTFA members are reporting smaller crops of some varieties including Honeycrisp, Galas, and Red Delicious. High heat earlier in the season was cited.

The organic apple crop is still projected to be over 15 million boxes.  In spite of the smaller harvest, high-quality fruit is seen throughout 2022.

This report is based on a survey of WSTFA members, and represents fruit picked through Octobter 31 and a best estimate of what is still to be harvested. It represents the harvested total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market (excluding product sent to processors).

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Washington Apple Shipments Could be Similar to 2020 Despite Heat Wave

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The Washington state fresh apple crop is expected to be of a similar size to last season despite a severe heat wave earlier this summer, according to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s (WSTFA) 2021 forecast.

The 2021 forecast is for a crop of just under 125 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples. This would be a 2.3% increase from 2020’s 122 million box crop, but down 7.2% from the 2019 crop of 134.5 million boxes.

Apple harvest typically begins in August and continues into November, and as a result this forecast is still subject to several months of variable weather which can affect the final harvest total.

“The 2021 Washington state apple crop looks to be similar in size to last year’s crop. Growing seasons are never the same, and currently many WSTFA members are still evaluating the impact of this summer’s adverse and variable weather conditions,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President.

“Members have made their best attempt to incorporate these factors, but with harvest just beginning and several months of unknown weather ahead, further reductions in the size of the forecasted crop are possible.”

For the third straight year, Gala will be the most numerous variety at 21%, Red Delicious is projected at 16%, followed by Honeycrisp and Granny Smith at 14%, and Fuji at 13% of total production. This year, Cosmic Crisp is forecast to come in at 3% of the total crop, a 114% increase from the 2020-21 crop, and Cripps Pink at 6%.

Organic apple production is forecast to be 12.3% of the total, or 15.36 million boxes. This is essentially unchanged from the 15.6 million boxes in the 2020 apple crop. Although it should be noted that typically not all organic production is ultimately packed and marketed as organic.

This forecast is based on a survey of WSTFA members, and represents a best estimate of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market (excluding product sent to processor).

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Washington State Apple Shipments Expected 10% Lower than Earlier Estimate

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By Washington Apple Commission

WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON – Washington state, the nation’s leading producer of apples, is expecting a smaller crop yield this year. Washington produces 65 percent of the fresh apples grown in the U.S., and as growers are reaching the midway point of harvest, they are observing an approximately 10 percent lighter crop load on the trees than the original estimate released in August.

The first forecast released by the Washington State Tree Fruit Association on August 1st, predicted a 134 million box (40 lb.) crop based on grower estimates. Apple harvest begins in August and ends in early November. Currently, growers and orchard crews are about 70 percent through picking.

At the October 8th Washington Apple Commission Board of Directors virtual meeting, industry members discussed the progress of the crop and contributing factors to the lower volume; alternate bearing season lightening the number of apples per tree, a recent windstorm, and more selective sort-picking happening in the orchard as growers work to improve pack outs in the warehouse.

“It is the growing consensus that the 2020 apple crop will be lower than earlier published estimates.  This can be attributed to both a reduction in the quantity of bulk bins harvested, as well as lower conversion yields to packed boxes,” says James Foreman, Chairman for the Washington Apple Commission Board of Directors.

Sizing appears to be smaller this year compared to last season as well, but it is region dependent. Washington’s growing regions spread along the state’s major river from the bottom of the state to the north Canadian border.

The apple category is experiencing an uptick in demand due to COVID-19 bringing health and nutrition to the forefront in the minds of consumers, and as result, an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption.

The 1,260 apple growers in the state produce eight core varieties: Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Cripps Pink, Golden Delicious and Cosmic Crisp®. Over 50 other ‘club’ or proprietary varieties are also grown in Washington. In addition to being the top producer of apples in the country, Washington represents 85% of all U.S. organic apple production. Apples are the number one produced commodity in Washington and have a $3 billion state economic impact.

The Washington Apple Commission is a non-profit, promotional organization dedicated to marketing and advertising fresh Washington apples internationally.  For more information on the Washington Apple Commission, visit

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Washington Apple Shipments Estimate is Lowered by 5 to 10 Percent

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By the Washington Apple Commission

WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON – In early August, the first estimate for Washington apple shipments predicted a crop volume of 134 million boxes (40 lb.), on par with the previous season of 133 million boxes. Since the time of the initial estimate, extreme windstorms, wildfires on the West Coast, and more accurate reporting of crop load on the trees as harvest progressed, suggest a lighter total crop volume for the 2020-21 apple harvest.

Expectations are for a 5-10 percent reduction in crop volume as a result of the adverse weather events. This would place the revised estimate at between 32.3 million and 31.6 million boxes to be shipped.

Over Labor Day weekend, a strong windstorm resulted in apples being knocked off the tree and some growers sustaining damage to their trellis systems. Fueled by the wind event, wildfires burning in Washington and other West Coast states have produced intense smoky conditions, delaying harvest a few days as some areas have had to halt operations.

Washington apple growers and orchard crews started picking Galas in late August and have since moved on to Honeycrisp. Harvest in Washington typically begins mid-August and lasts into November. Red Delicious, Fuji and Cosmic Crisp® will be harvested in October and the season will wrap up with Granny Smith and Cripps Pink in November.

Demand for Washington apples has been high in response to elevated health-conscious and bulk-purchase behavior by consumers. Volume of apples shipped during this time period is slightly lower than last season, but overall movement is good.

Washington is the leading producer of apples, representing 65 percent of all U.S. fresh apple production. The state exports one-third of its fresh crop to over 60 markets worldwide, accounting for 95 percent of all U.S. apple exports.

The Washington Apple Commission is a non-profit, promotional organization dedicated to marketing and advertising fresh Washington apples internationally.  

Washington apple shipments to Chicago – grossing about $5200.

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Washington Apple Shipments Forecast is Similar to Last Season

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Washington apple shipments for the 2020 fresh crop are forecast at 134 million 40-pound cartons, nearly the same as the 2019 crop of 133.9 million cartons, reports the Washington State Tree Fruit Association of Yakima.

“The 2020 Washington state apple crop looks to be similar in size to last year’s,” Jon DeVaney, association president, said in a news release. “Harvest is underway and growers anticipate being able to meet strong consumer demand with an ample and high-quality harvest. Our members are growing large crops, but with more varieties to choose from and while continuing to raise the already high standards of quality that domestic and international consumers have come to expect.”

For the second year in a row, gala variety apples will be the biggest volume variety. Galas will account for 23 percent of the state’s crop, compared with 17 percent for red delicious, 14 percent for fuji, 13 percent each for Honeycrisp and granny smith and 5 percent for cripps pink.

The surging Cosmic Crisp variety will account for about 1.2 percent of the total crop.

Organic apple production is predicted to hit to 21 million cartons, or 16 percent of the fresh crop. That compares with organic production of 15 million cartons in 2019.

The fresh apple forecast is based on a survey of association members.

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15% More Apples Remain in U.S. Storages this Season; Plus Washington Update

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There are 15 percent more fresh apples remaining to be shipped from U.S. storages than a year. This is according to the first storage report of the year from the U.S. Apple Association.

Apples in storage as of November 1st totaled 132.1 million cartons, up 15 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, apple for processing stood at 47.1 million cartons, up 23 percent greater than last season.  Total apples in storage totaled 179.2 million bushels, 17 percent more than last November’s total of 153.4 million cartons and 5 percent more than the 5-year average for that date.

The latest estimate for the Washington apples is 138.2 million fresh packed boxes, up slightly from the August forecast.

At 138.2 million boxes, the November estimate is up less than 1 pecent from the August forecast and 18 percent higher than  the 116.7 million carton crop of 2018.

The top 6 Washington fresh apple varieties this year, compared with a year ago, are:

  • Gala: 23.5 percent , down from 23.6 percent a year ago:
  • Red delicious: 19.7 percent, down from 24.2 percent last year;
  • Fuji: 13.1 percent, compared with 13percent last year;
  • Granny smith: 12.8 percent, up from 11.6 percent last year;
  • Honeycrisp: 12.5 percent, up from 10.4 percent a year ago; and
  • Golden delicious: 5.5 percent, up from 3.9 percent last year.

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