Overproduction of Cox apples this season has resulted in too many supermarket promotions, English Apples & Pears has claimed.

Next season the crop must be more closely matched to demand for prices to stay firm, said chief executive Adrian Barlow.

"The 2007-08 crop was much larger than the year before. This season's crop will be sold but far too much of the time it is sold on promotion because volume is higher than natural demand," he said.

"We market to core fans and then some consumers only attracted by price. Then we get into promotional activity for much longer than we would like." As of 1 March there were 29,500 tonnes of Cox remaining for sale in supermarkets - 14% up on the previous year. This is expected to be sold by early April. Supplies of English Gala have already come to an end for the season, while there is expected to be no more Bramley after late June, reflecting strong demand and store support.