The U.S. imported a little over 31.2 million single-strength-equivalent gallons of apple juice in November, the first notable increase in volume in several months but still down 29 percent year over year. China and Europe (including Turkey) each supplied about 45 percent of U.S. imported apple juice concentrate. Jan-Nov cumulative imports, at 346.3 million SSE gallons, were down 20 percent from 2018.
Stocks of non-FCOJ juice concentrates in cold storage (most of which is apple juice) declined to 361.7 million pounds in December, down just 1 percent from a year ago and pointing to persistent lack of growth in demand for AJC, given the sharper YOY falloff in AJC supply. U.S. per capita apple juice consumption was 1.83 gallons in 2018, a four-year low and down almost 20 percent from 2007’s consumption high point. It’s looking like demand fell off a bit more in 2019.
Spot apple juice concentrate pricing averaged around $7.80 per gallon in November, but prices have come down slightly since then, averaging $7.60 in December and the first half of January. AJC out of China is notably lower in price than European AJC, lately averaging around $7.25, while European AJC is closer to $7.90 and Turkish AJC is around $7.50. Domestic AJC is mostly selling between $7.25 and $7.85 in the spot market, according to USDA.
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