W33: Apple Update

In W33 in the apple landscape, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows that the United States (US) apple production for the 2023/24 season will reach 250 million bushels, a 1.5% year-over-year (YoY) increase. The US production of apples will meet last year's figure and will slightly exceed it, providing consumers with plenty of high-quality apples. The Gala variety is projected to remain the leading apple variety in the US market, with a production of over 45 million bushels, representing 18% of the market share. Additionally, the Red Delicious variety has seen a decline of 42% in production over the past five years, while Honeycrisp's production has grown by 46%.

In 2022, US apple exports fell by 7% to 36.2 million bushels, while imports decreased by 13% to 5.3 million bushels. The US maintains a net positive trade balance but needs to return to 2018's high-water mark. India's recent lifting of its 20% retaliatory tariff on US apples could boost export volume. Furthermore, Washington remains the top producer with an estimated 160 million bushel crop valued at over USD 2 billion for the 2023/24 crop year, a 9% increase from 2022/23 crops. Michigan's apple production for the 2023/24 season is projected to decrease by 15% to 27.4 million bushels but will maintain the second spot ahead of New York. On the other hand, Washington apple exports have decreased 18.7% in the 2022/23 season, with 23.5% exported. As of August 13, 21.9 million Washington apples have been exported, with 4 million shipped to Canada and 9.8 million to Mexico.

The Association of Gardeners of Russia predicts a slightly lower apple harvest in 2023, around 1.3 to 1.4 million tons compared to 1.55 million tons in 2022, due to freezing during the flowering period and severe frosts in Central Chernozem zone regions. However, good harvests are expected in non-Chernozem zones, with early Russian apple varieties available since Jul-23. Imports of cheap foreign apples are also declining, except in spring period when supplies come from fruit storage in Moldova and Serbia.

The apple orchards in Himachal Pradesh in India have disrupted apple orchards and significantly affected the apple supply in wholesale markets in Delhi due to rainfall, floods, and landslides. Himachal Pradesh is a major source of the Delhi-NCR region’s plums, apples, and apricots. The price of Indian apples has increased to USD 24.17 to 42.30/box (INR 2,000 to 3,500/box) due to the unfavorable weather conditions. Moreover, farmers have had to pack fruits in trucks due to poor highway conditions, which leads to rapid spoilage and deterioration.

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