May 3, 2012
03:48 PMOut of the Orchard
Adding it up
I have a fascination with numbers, specially sales and movement numbers that track industries success in marketing the Washington apple crop. Thus far this season has been spectacular; sales movement has been excellent all season, prices are above expectations and the outlook is positive for an orderly finish to the 2011 apple marketing season (my fingers are crossed). In my opinion, the primary driver for success this season is due to our excellent growers providing a superior product from the great State of Washington, but ‘other numbers’ do contribute to our success. ‘Getting off to a good start’ is absolutely critical to our success – and one of the major contributor is the success of Chile – yes, I said the success of Chile.
It’s a challenge every season to obtain accurate and truthful information from Chilean apple producers – and they probably say the same of WA. The perfect example is the February 27, 2010 8.8 magnitude earthquake that claimed the lives of 571 Chilean’s – a deeply devastating natural disaster. Aside from the incredible personal losses, the Chilean apple industry ‘implied’ major losses associated with the earthquake – storage facilities severely damaged and crops devastated on the tree prior to harvest completion. The word to customers – shorter than anticipated Chilean apple crop and high prices. The reality – the largest export year of record and significant volumes of late season apples dumped into Central and South American countries effectively ‘plugging’ WA’s early markets. Fast forward one year and Chile has a more manageable crop volume leaving Central and South America hungry for WA apples at the beginning of our 2011 crop. And what happened? 16 of the 17 Central and South American markets were above the previous season’s volumes. In addition, the total region will surpass 3 million cartons this season – an increase of 47.6%. So one major contributor to our success this season – Chile.
Onto other numbers of interest, through May 1st on export;
- 61.6% of all Red Delicious have been exported,
- 38.8% of all Golden Delicious,
- 27.5% of all Granny Smith,
- 24.7% of all Fuji and
- 30% of all Gala’s.
Others items of interest;
- We are on target to exceed our record export volumes of 2010-11 this year – that would be over 36 million bushels.
- India shipped 401,345 cartons in the last two weeks of April – AND IS AHEAD OF CANADA as of May 1st. Can anyone say ‘WOW”!
- The Caribbean, S&C America are up 47.6% compared to last season and will surpass 3 million cartons as a region. Here’s the all important ‘early start’ we need.
- The average price to-date for all varieties is up approximately 11.3%.
Again, as I said before, this is primarily due to excellent growers providing a superior product from the great State of Washington.