Total U.S. apple production forecast to increase in 2022-23
U.S. apple production is predicted to increase marginally this season year-on-year, according tothe U.S. Apple Association.
At its 127th annual Outlook Conference in Chicago on August 18, the U.S. Apple Association released a new report called “Industry Outlook 2022”, authored by USApple Director of Industry Analytics Chris Gerlach. It included up-to-date data and analysis on U.S. and global apple production, utilization and trade.
Total U.S. apple production for 2022-23 is predicted to be more than 10.7 billion pounds or 255 million bushels, according to a USApple analysis of Agriculture Department data. This represents a 3 percent increase compared to last year’s production figure and is 3.5 percent less than the five-year production average.
Unlike USDA data, Gerlach explained that these figures also take into account states that are outside the top seven apple-producing states. “We’ve analyzed the production from states outside of the top seven and added that back to USDA’s figure,” he said.
The national production forecast rise comes despite Washington, the biggest production state, recently saying that it expects its crop there to be around 11 percent smaller year-on-year due to the long and cold spring.
At a varietal level, Gala is expected to retain the top spot with almost 46 million bushels produced, accounting for around 18 percent of the U.S. apple market. Rounding out the top five are Red Delicious (34 million bushels), Fuji (26 million), Honeycrisp (25 million) and Granny Smith (24 million).
“Honeycrisp production has increased by 48 percent or 8 million bushels in the past five years,” Gerlach pointed out. “Conversely, Red Delicious decreased by 41 percent or 24 million bushels during the same period.”
Imports and exports
With regards to fresh apple imports and exports, in 2021-22 (July to June), the U.S. exported more than 38.5 million bushels of fresh apples and imported around 6.3 million bushels.
“On a year-over-year basis, the balance of trade has declined with respect to both quantity and value,” said Gerlach. “On the quantity side, imports have increased by 20 percent over 2020-21 CY levels while exports have declined. On the value side, exports have increased marginally, but imports are up almost 30 percent.”
Therefore, the U.S. was bringing in a greater amount of more expensive fruit and sending out a smaller amount of slightly more expensive fresh apples, he explained.