U.S. Apple Exports Down in 2018
U.S. apple exports are expected to drop this season due to lower fruit set in Washington, according to the latest World Market report from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Estimates are forecast down nearly 150,000 tons to 850,000.
Production in the U.S. is expected to remain flat at 5 million tons.
The 2018-2019 fresh apple crop is down 12% from the previous year, The Yakima Herald reports. Toni Lynn Adams, Communications Outreach Coordinator for the Washington Apple Commission, told The Herald this lower crop size meant more fruit stayed in the U.S.
“Our crop was a bit shorter than expected,” she told The Herald. “So, we put more into the domestic market, not as much in the export market.”
According to The Herald, apple exports from Washington are down 28%. Some of this could be attributed to the smaller crop size, but it’s also no secret that tariffs have taken a bite out of U.S. apple exports this season. Mexico, the top destination for U.S. apples, has placed a 20% retaliatory tariff on U.S. apples as of June.
Exports to China have dropped by 33% due to a 20% tariff. India also has expected to impose a 25% apple tariff starting Dec. 17.
“Even though they haven’t implemented it, the threat has been enough to reduce sales to that country,” Mark Powers, President of the Northwest Horticultural Council told The Herald.
Powers says exports to India are down 83% this year. India, Mexico, and China make up half of Washington’s annual exports.