nina | August 9th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Despite the hail that put a dent in the 2012 Washington apple crop, it is still on track to be one of the largest fresh-market crops in the state’s history.

About 109 million boxes are expected to ship from Washington this season, according to an Aug. 7 estimate from the Yakima, Wash.-based Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association and the Wenatchee, Wash.-based Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association.

Because of a July 20 hailstorm, that’s down from previous estimates of about 120 million cartons. But 109 million boxes should still be enough to make up for some of the damage suffered by apple growers east of the Mississippi.

Nevertheless, overall U.S. fresh-market volumes will still be down, thanks to huge losses in Michigan and elsewhere.

All of this should translate into strong demand and pricing for Washington’s apple industry.

The Aug. 7 estimate could change by several million boxes in either direction as the season progresses.

The Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association will release its estimate Aug. 17.

Source:  Packer.com 8.7.12

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