Agronometrics in Charts: Record U.S. Apple Harvest and Booming Exports Set Stage for a Dynamic 2024 Season

By Agronometrics | 21 June 2024

In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Sarah Ilyas studies the state of the US apple season. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

The U.S. apple industry is poised for a robust season in 2024, driven by favorable weather and strategic market expansions. According to the latest report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), U.S. apple production is estimated to rise significantly, reaching 5.0 million tons. This marks a substantial increase of 636,000 tons from the previous year and the highest production level in six years.

apple volumes by history 19

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here

The surge in apple production can be largely attributed to excellent weather conditions in Washington State, the nation’s top apple-producing state. Washington’s yields have soared, with production volumes rebounding by 25% compared to the previous year. The 2023 harvest in Washington yielded an impressive 137 million bushels, the second-largest crop in the state’s history, following a smaller crop of 104 million bushels in 2022. This significant increase underscores the state’s dominance in the apple industry; the state produces approximately two-thirds of the U.S. apple supply.

apple volumes by origin 2

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Michigan also contributed to the overall increase in production. Its consistent high production levels helped offset a smaller crop in New York, ensuring that the national figures remained strong. The favorable conditions and high output from these states have bolstered the U.S. apple industry’s outlook for the upcoming season.

The increase in apple production is not just benefiting domestic markets but also fueling a rise in exports. Projections indicate that U.S. apple exports will climb by 274,000 tons to reach 885,000 tons. This growth is facilitated by heightened production and stronger demand from international markets, particularly Mexico, Taiwan, and India.

Washington State plays a pivotal role in this export surge, as it exports about 30% of its apples globally. The state’s strategic market expansions, especially in India, have been notable. Following a tariff reduction, exports to India skyrocketed from 62,000 bushels in 2022 to over 2 million bushels in 2023. This dramatic increase highlights the potential for further growth in emerging markets despite the challenges posed by various international tariffs.

Washington’s apple industry continues to innovate with the introduction of new apple varieties that cater to evolving consumer preferences both domestically and internationally. The Cosmic Crisp apple, known for its unique flavor and exclusively grown in Washington, has gained traction in foreign markets. Additionally, the forthcoming WA 64 variety, currently under a public naming contest, is set to enter the market in the coming years, further diversifying the state’s apple offerings.

In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.

Written by Sarah Ilyas

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