The U.S. imported just 21.6 million single-strength-equivalent gallons of apple juice in August, an extremely low volume for the month. The five-year average for August is 41.5 million SSE gallons. Imports in August 2018, at 49.3 million SSE gallons, were higher than average due to importers bringing in Chinese AJC ahead of the tariffs.
Despite the sharp reduction in supply, however, stocks of juice concentrate in cold storage (juice other than OJ) were nearly 320.6 million pounds at the end of August, up 3 percent YOY and the highest August volume going back years.
With a recovery this year in its apple supply and processing, China has been able to lower the price on its AJC and will continue to price AJC aggressively to regain market share from Europe. We will see a reduction in European supply this year because a spring freeze lowered 2019/20 apple production, but a pullback in U.S. demand may keep China from equaling historical AJC sales, even when tariffs are eventually removed.
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