The latest US apple estimates were made available this week and described as average in quantity but excellent in quality.

The figures were based on both the assessment of the industry itself as well as the official figures from the USDA.

It shows that the key player, Washington State, is showing no alteration at 116.7 million 42lb carton equivalents, out of a total US crop marginally reduced to 216.2 million cartons. However, this is still well below the five year average for Washington of 132.4 million cartons.

The major varieties are Red and Golden Delicious, followed by other full red apples like MacIntosh and Empire, as well
as increasing volumes of bi-coloured types such as Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady and Granny Smith.

The other key producers which look to Europe as an export market are the north east coastal states and Michigan, represented by the US Apple Export Council. UK representative Neil Gordon said those regions were reporting average crops but excellent quality. NY State, which sends about 85% of its apple exports to the UK, anticipates a 324 million carton crop, almost 50% up on last year, and Michigan’s crop of 23 million is double. New England States are closer to the five-year average of four million.

Gordon said: “We will be supporting the crops with fresh PR activities, retail promotions and our new consumer web site”

The McIntosh crop is 41% up, and Empires up 58%, with virtually all areas reporting clean fruit, with sizing on average, larger than 2002. Picking is about a week later and just getting started for early varieties like Paula Reds, with McIntosh following at the beginning of the month.
David Shapley