The USDA recently released updated forecasts for global apple and table grape production for the 2021/22 MY. US apple production is expected to decline to 4.3 million tonnes, down 3.8% year-on-year (y-o-y), reaching its lowest level since 2012/13. Similarly, US table grape production is forecast to fall by 5.2% y-o-y and to the lowest level since 2009/10. Unfavourable weather across the US is the key driver for a production decline for these fruits.
In Washington (the top apple producing state), extremely high temperatures damaged apple yields, according to growers. This is combined with erratic frosts and poor pollination in the spring in Michigan (second top producing state). Tighter supplies have driven prices higher, with US apple prices reaching USD 1.83/Kg on the week of the 15th of June, up 11.6 % month-on-month (m-o-m) and 4.3% y-o-y.
The situation is mirrored in the US table grape market, with many growers in California (the top producing state) reporting lower yields due to high summer temperatures. This is combined with lower water availability for irrigation, which is essential for production. There are rising concerns that growers will face lower profit margins as production is squeezed. This coincides with inflationary pressure amid rising input costs and a high scarcity of labour in the industry, which are likely to act as additional price drivers.