Consumers Could See Higher Apple Prices This Year

Oct 19, 2012

CHELAN, Wash. – Moms and dads hoping to pack an apple in their children’s lunches might have to budget a bit more this year. That’s because even though the Northwest has seen a bumper crop in apples, elsewhere there’s a shortage.

The Northwest may have had a great season, but the Midwest and East’s apple crop got pummeled this year. That means there is more demand and increased prices for our region’s fruit, both for fresh eating and for juice and sauce.

In addition, local farmers had high costs this year. A short labor supply in the Northwest and high fuel and fertilizer costs nationally.

But really, apples prices at your neighborhood store are dependent on the global supply. Frank Lyall is a grower from near Grandview, Washington. He smiles and winces at the same time.

“You hate to tell people, 'well, yes, you know, apples are a staple, it’s a wholesome part of your diet,' and you hate to tell people they are going to be more expensive than perhaps what people are used to paying.”

A national company that tracks retail produce prices says apples went up nearly 7 percent for last year’s crop over the year before. More definitive numbers on 2012’s crop prices will start to emerge next month.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio