Shipments heading for four times last year's level Washington set for a new high Washington apple imports to the UK are to set achieve record volumes in a bumper crop year. George Smith, European promotions director for the Washington Apple Commission, expects shipments to have reached 200,000 cartons by the end of November, four times the figure at the same time last year. "If sales continue at this rate it would mean 2.2 million cartons by next June compared to 780,000 in 1997/98," he said. With the season only two months old, Smith believes there is every reason to believe momentum will be sustained. Fruit quality so far has been good, with several new multiple customers showing interest. Smith added:"We are being very competitively priced." Red Delicious, the main variety available, is making £11-£12/carton on the wholesale markets. The growing range of varieties available from Washington in the new year include Pink Lady, Cameo, a blushed apple becoming increasingly popular, Fuji (pictured), now the second largest in the state's production, as well as organic apples. There has also been a revival of interest in Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}