U.S.: Early Northwest cherry season draws to a close - FreshFruitPortal.com

U.S.: Early Northwest cherry season draws to a close

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U.S.: Early Northwest cherry season draws to a close

Pacific Northwest cherry growers have concluded a season that had a great start in June but then faltered in July amid soaring temperatures. cerezas_78453031 small

Washington-based Northwest Cherry Growers reported the total shipped crop would come in at 20.52 million boxes equivalent to 20 pounds each, making it the third largest in history after 2014 and 2012.

The total shipped volume is almost bang on the association's estimate released at the start of the season, though lower in May and higher in June than the curve projection anticipated.

It was also the earliest crop in 20 years.

June saw a record 12.6 million boxes, which included accelerated volume by growers working to stay ahead of the heatwaves.

The Northwest has seen high temperatures over the past few years, but the grower association described the record-breaking heat this campaign as an 'entirely different event', claiming it would statistically only occur once every 400 years.

Early season weather challenges also reduced the Northwest crop, including an estimated 300,000 boxes of Rainier cherries.

July was the smaller of the two months this season, something that hasn't happened since 2005, but still delivered 7.4 million boxes. May shipped just over 380,000 boxes and August saw just over 70,000 boxes - a record low since 2000.

Exports were also strong this year, coming in at just over 30% of the shipped crop.

Even with the heat, "this will go down as probably the best June we’ve ever had in volume, movement and pricing," Northwest Cherry Growers president B.J. Thurlby was quoted as saying by Capitalpress.com.

"Overall it was a pretty good year except for that 10-day period right after the Fourth when we had a lot of fruit. An avalanche of cherries. Compression not expected to be there."

He added that some 2.5 million boxes had been exported to China and South Korea, which helped the market somewhat and saw prices rebound in the last part of July.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com



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