Apples Galore! Trade Challenges for Producers
The recent apple harvest across the nation has been remarkable both in terms of quantity and quality. However, the current challenge lies in securing sufficient consumers to purchase them. Chris Gerlach, the Director of Industry Analytics at the U.S. Apple Association, emphasizes the abundance of apples awaiting market distribution.
“We had a big year this year. According to my records, this is the largest November holdings. So, I start my holdings report, my storage report, in November and I run it through June. We had a higher fresh number in 2014-2015, which is interesting but with total processing this year it made our November storage volume the highest ever. So, it’s a big year.”
He says exports are now the biggest challenge.
“How were we getting rid of our apples before, and I sort of backed out exports and said to the crew, you know, this is what the export scene looked like in 14-15 and we’re probably nowhere close to that now. So, we’ve got to rely on domestic demand, or we’ve got to lower prices to move volume. Folks have a lot of apples. The export markets aren’t there to take that. I don’t know that domestic demand is at its former pricing levels was doing it. I don’t know if they’re moving the volume they need to.”
Gerlach says the industry needs to figure out how to move this volume of apples and keep everyone around for next season.