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U.S. Apple Crop Forecast 2019-2020

10/1/2019  By Cris Hales

U.S. Apple Crop Forecast 2019/20

U.S. Apple Association is forecasting the 2019 apple crop at 10.4 billion pounds. Measured in 42-pound bushels, the crop is forecasted to be 247.8 million bushels.

The five-year average is 250.4 million bushels for U.S. apple production. The U.S. Apple Association is estimating the following production changes to the 2019/20 crop compared to 2018:

  • 4% decrease in apple production for the Eastern U.S.
  • 1% increase in apple production for the Midwestern States
  • 3% increase in the Western U.S.

USDA’s original forecast was higher prior to the US Apple Association's Annual Apple Outlook Conference.

Processing vs . Fresh-Market Forecasts

USDA forecasts the 2019 U.S. apple-crop at 253 million bushels. Based on this forecast, USApple estimates that approximately 177 million bushels will be sold as fresh-market apples, 69 million bushels are forecast to be processed, and approximately 7.3 million bushels will not be marketed.

Fresh-market apple utilization in 2019 is expected to increase by 9 percent as compared to 2018. The fresh versus processing ratio of crop utilization for the 2019 crop is forecast to be 70 percent fresh and 27 percent processing, with roughly 3 percent of the crop not marketed. For the 2018 crop, 66 percent was sold in the fresh market while 31 percent was used for processed products and 3 percent was not marketed.

2019 Regional and Varietal Estimates

Under ideal circumstances, the U.S. varietal mix is reasonably distributed across producing regions, and varietal supplies are enough to support fresh-market and processing-apple demand for any specific variety. As consumer tastes and market conditions evolve, the industry has historically sought to adjust to those evolving demand situations.

Total Western production is forecast to increase by 7 percent from 2018 and will be 3 percent above the five-year average for that region. The production of Red Delicious in Washington State relative to other varieties is expected to continue to decrease while other varieties such as Gala, Cripps Pink and Honeycrisp will continue to increase their share of overall production. Reflecting the overall 2019 crop size, the production volume for Gala is expected to increase by 5 percent while Fuji volume is projected to increase by 11 percent.

U.S. Apple Top Varieties

  • Gala
  • Red Delicious – production of this variety has experienced a 32% decline since 2014
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Honey Crisp – production of this variety has increased 77% since 2014
  • Golden Delicious – production of this variety has experienced a 43.8% decline since 2014

 

Source: USDA & US Apple Association