Huge Amounts of Apples in U.S. Storage

As 2018 dawns there are a whole lot of apples in storage, due mainly to the state of Washington’s monster 2017 crop.

According to a U.S. Apple Association survey, this year’s fresh apple holdings on Jan. 1 totaled 115.8 million bushels, 12% more than the inventories reported for Jan. 1 of last year.

The January issue of USApple’s Market News states that the total number of apples in storage on Jan. 1 was 162.6 million bushels, 13% more than last January’s total of 144.0 million bushels and 19% above the five-year average for that date.

Mark W. Seetin, USApple’s Director, Regulatory and Industry Affairs, says that the increased amount is almost entirely due to the 2017 crops in the West, as the East crop was similar to 2016.

While the large numbers in storage are daunting, Seetin says the industry as a whole is sturdy. “Fresh apple consumption is at or near a 20-year high,” he says. “And exports are up ― there are continued reasons for optimism.”