Washington apple exports to drop this season
Washington apple exports will be down this season for a variety of reasons.
Jennie Strong, communications and outreach specialist for the Washington Apple Commission, in Wenatchee, WA, said her growers’ volume is down this year, and other factors are detracting from volumes that would normally be exported.
Extreme heat in June 2021 reduced the 2022 orchard productivity, which had poor pollination weather and a 10–14-day harvest delay.
As United States demand takes priority, Washington’s apple export volume will be down this season.
The Washington Apple Commission focuses international promotions on consumer and trade, Strong notes, with the top five export markets being Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Beyond basic production volume, other factors impacting exports include: higher fuel and fertilizer costs, restrictions on inland freight, the high value of the U.S. dollar, container availability, and unpredictable shipping times.
“We’re really focusing on marketing in the ‘home-court’ to avoid some of these issues. This includes both Canada and Mexico, which are value markets for Washington apples.”
Strong notes the “foodservice sector is not a focus of our promotions, although we occasionally partner with USDA Foreign Agricultural Offices in special foodservice (mainly restaurant) promotions. We prefer to target our promotional efforts directly to consumers through the retail sector where it is easier to reach them with our message of ‘Grown with Goodness.’”