Apple industry seeks USDA bonus purchases - The Packer

Apple industry seeks USDA bonus purchases

05/08/2009 02:12:00 PM
Tom Karst

Washington red delicious apples, size 88s, were $14-16 per carton on May 6, compared to $18-20 per carton last year, said Jeff Main, Federal State Market News reporter in Yakima. Meanwhile, he said Washington granny smith apples, size 125s, were at $9-10 per carton May 6, down from $18-20 per carton the same time last year.

Movement of fresh apples has been at record levels in recent weeks, averaging about 2.5 million cartons shipped per week over the past four to five weeks, said Kirk Mayer, manager of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, Wenatchee.

Season-to-date apple prices in Washington averaged $17.80 per carton through late April, Mayer said. However, prices have been declining recently, with the average f.o.b. apple price for the week of April 27 at $14.27 per carton.

Depending on the size and variety of apple, he said growers typically need f.o.b. prices of $14-16 per carton to break even.

Projections show the 2008 110-million bushel Washington fresh apple drop should be finished sometime in October, Mayer said.

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