Gustavo Ferreira, Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech
Virginia apples are grown in over 100 commercial orchards and account for more than 16,000 acres of land. Furthermore, the estimated commercial apple yield per acre is 700 bushels. Even though the Virginia apple industry has experienced a long lasting decline, it still contributes an estimated $235 million annually to the state’s economy. Furthermore, there have been increases in production and tree plantings in recent years (Virginia Apple Growers Association 2014). This study analyzes important apple market information from the 2014 Market News , which is a publication of the U.S. Apple Association. While the focus of this of this article is Virginia, regional and global apple production trends are also analyzed.
Virginia Apple Market Outlook
In 2014, the top three apple varieties produced in Virginia were York, Golden Delicious and Rome, and accounted for 81.75 percent of total apple holdings. Red Delicious apples ranked 4thwith 6.33 percent of total holdings.
Most apple production in Virginia has been geared towards processing, and its market share was 87 percent in 2014. Also this year, apple storage in controlled atmosphere (CA) – in the fresh and processing segments – accounted for 69 percent of total apple holdings.
Regional and Global Apple Market Outlook
Apple production in the Northeast Region (Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina) has fluctuated over the period of 2009 to 2014; although, data reveals a slight downward trend. The most noticeable decreased occurred in 2012, and in the case of Virginia, apple prices experienced sharp increases due to extreme weather conditions in that year.
* The Northeast Region includes Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia.
Source: US Apple Association: 2014 Market News.
China is, distinctively, the largest apple production in the world followed by the EU 28. The Unites States has increased its total production from 2013 to 2014, and has remained the 4th largest apple producer in the world.
World Apple Production Around the World (2013 and 2014).
Country 2013 2014 Forecast