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U.S. apple estimate higher than last year

apple chart 2019-20

The USDA’s Economic Research Service released the following apple crop update December 18, 2019:

With the onset of cold weather the U.S. apple harvest for the 2019/20 marketing year (August-July) is wrapping up.

The 2019/20 U.S. apple crop is forecast at 10.6 billion pounds, up 4 percent from a year ago as output gains in Western States (largely Washington and California) outweigh declines in Eastern States.

The top apple state, Washington, expects a 7.2-billion pound crop of excellent quality, up 7 percent from last year. While this increase signals higher fresh-market supplies, flat-to-slightly-smaller crops in Michigan, New York, and Virginia may hinder gains in processed production.

Overall, larger production indicates a possible downward pressure on apple-grower prices during the 2019/20 season-relative to 2018/19, likely boosting overall demand, especially in the fresh market. Pricing early in 2019/20, however, was supported by relatively strong late-2018/19 fresh apple grower prices due to tighter supplies.