The 2023 apple season in Washington state is projected to be exceptional, owing to ideal weather conditions. Brianna Shales, Marketing Director at Stemilt Growers, noted, “The 2023 apple crop has taken a complete 180 compared to last year’s crop. We’re very excited for the upcoming season and are expecting more apples with great eating quality and color as a result of the optimal weather we’ve had in Washington.” Washington State’s apple industry has endured challenging times over recent years. The 2022-23 crop fell by 11% — from 120 million cases to 108 million cases — according to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA), a hangover from damage caused by an unexpected heatwave in June 2021 followed by a cold, rainy spring. It also appeared to continue a recent pattern: According to the USApple Association, between 2019 and 2022, the Washington crop dropped by more than 20%, from 181 million bushels to 143 million bushels. The Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s August estimate places this year’s volume at approximately 134 million cases, marking a substantial 29 percent growth compared to the previous year. Notably, Honeycrisp apples are expected to see a remarkable 62 percent surge, rising from 12 million to 20 million boxes. Between weeks 27 and 34, prices exhibited a consistent trend, averaging approximately $34.49 per package. As the season reels out over the coming weeks, drops in pricing could be expected.
Written by: Sarah Ilyas