Good Fruit Grower

October 2016

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8 OCTOBER 2016 Good Fruit Grower Domestic apple market looks bright T he value of the dollar and the increasing size of the apple crop in other countries — boosting competition on the export market — may pose some challenges for packers and shippers in the coming year. However, the domestic market continues to be a bright spot for the U.S. apple industry. Except for last year, U.S. apple consumption has grown each year since 2010, and when you factor in all the new varieties that consumers have to choose from, the U.S. market should continue to be strong, said Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission. "The producers are realizing that you have to provide really good quality fruit if people are going to buy them, and they are doing well," he said. Internationally, there may be some hurdles U.S. growers will have to overcome, including the value of the dollar, he said. A resurgence of the crop in Canada, possibly the biggest crop in history in Mexico, the potential for the third-largest crop in history in the European Union and another large crop in China together create a very competitive international marketplace. The Russian embargo on fruit and vegetables from the European Union means Poland, with a heavy emphasis on older varieties, will be seeking new markets, he said. Vietnam, which focuses on the food safety aspect of U.S. products, is a great market, and Indonesia and India are good markets as well. Of course, he said, the European Union and China will be shipping there, too. China exports about 80 million boxes of apples, a fraction of its 2 billion-box fresh crop, but the country is fairly one-dimensional at 70 percent Fuji, Fryhover said. That means U.S. Red Delicious are maintaining export interest, something growers might have thought would be hard 10 or 15 years ago, he said. "Another thing to keep in mind: It is the one variety that we can produce and pack the least expensively, so it gives us a competitive advantage in the international marketplace over some of the higher value varieties," he said. "We need to find a level for Reds, but I think we're really close to it." —S. Dininny Todd Fryhover 1 million metric tons. Chile, the bright spot, saw growth in apple production, mainly driven by demand for bicolor varieties, such as Fuji and Royal Gala, he said. Crop size there could be up about 5 percent to roughly 1.6 metric tons. Europe Europe forecast its third largest crop at 12 million metric tons, down from the past two years but above the five- and 10-year averages. Frost damage in Central Europe drove the forecast down to 420,000 metric tons for those countries. Poland, which produces 35 percent of all apples in Europe, expected a strong crop, along with Germany, Greece and Romania. However, the ongoing Russian embargo against fruit and vegetable imports is likely to hurt market access as exporters seek substitute markets. China Apple production in China has climbed steadily over the past 15 years, with an average annual increase of 1.8 million metric tons from 2001 to 2015, according to Michael Choi, president of Zhonglu America, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese Zhonglu fruit juice company. For the 2016-17 season, China will likely set another production record of 43.8 million metric tons, a 2.8 per- cent increase from the 2015 crop and a nearly 11 percent increase from the five-year average, he said. Early varieties, such as Gala, should see a smaller crop, but a bigger crop was anticipated for later varieties like Qinguan and Fuji. • Introducing the Gripple T-Clip Using Gripple's push to fit technology, the Gripple T-Clip provides a fast and efficient means of maintaining precise distance between the fruiting walls in V-Trellis growing systems. Find the Gripple T-Clip and other quality Gripple products at your local orchard & vineyard supplier. Gripple Medium Badger Anchor D6 Fastener How to use: Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 1-866-474-7753

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