Northwest Farm Credit Services, the lending cooperative, reports a positive outlook for tree fruit and wine grape growers in its latest Market Snapshot.
Here’s the report for tree fruit:
Apples – Most apple producers are optimistic for new-crop quality and pricing. After last year’s 114.6 million box crop, the new apple crop is estimated to be Washington state’s second or third largest in history, at 120 million to 130 million boxes. Strong production meets favorable fruit coloring, sizing and overall quality, supported by a near-optimal growing season. Exceptions include instances of bitter pit in storage for some varieties. Access to harvest labor remains adequate and early 2016-17 pricing is strong and stable.
Cherries – The Northwest’s 2016 sweet cherry season closed successfully, with performance varied across regions. Warm spring weather caused ‘flash bloom’ in some orchards, reducing pollination from 10 days to as few as two days, which reduced some growers’ yields. However, larger fruit sizes and quality somewhat offset lower yields. Prices followed seasonal trends, with strong early- and late-season returns and some variability mid-season.
Pears – An early Northwest pear harvest led to a strong market and positive industry outlook. The 2016-17 crop is projected larger than last year’s crop, which was the smallest in five years. This year’s crop size is estimated below the five-year average. Outstanding fruit quality offsets relatively lower pear volumes, supporting higher packouts. Together, manageable crop volumes, high quality and strong current and projected crop prices fuel industry optimism.
Here’s the report for wine:
Wine-Vineyard – Wine grape harvest is coming to a close and yields are strong. Demand is driven by consumers seeking high-quality, branded wines, which are typically in the $20-plus price range. The direct-to-consumer market remains an opportunity for wineries looking to grow in the premium segment. Buyers of wineries wanting to shore up fruit supply or purchase a well-known brand are driving mergers and acquisitions in the industry.
The cooperative report looks at several other crops. Read the complete report.
Northwest FCS is a $10.6 billion financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Northwest FCS is a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System that supports agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. For more information, go to northwestfcs.com.