The 2018/19 marketing year started on a good note for apple juice imports. The U.S. took in 48.9 million single-strength-equivalent (SSE) gallons, up 74 percent from July and up 7 percent from August 2017. Apple juice imports had declined for most of 2017/18 in response to higher pricing out of China and lack of growth in the U.S. market, but buyers decided to stock up before the September tariff on Chinese juice took effect. September’s cold storage stocks were down from a year ago, indicating that imports in September likely dropped sharply.
Apple juice imports in 2017/18 (Aug-Jul) totaled 494.1 million SSE gallons, down 4 percent from 2016/17, as the steady rise in Chinese concentrate pricing caused some buyers to delay purchases. In addition, throughout the marketing year stocks in cold storage remained higher than in recent seasons as apple juice follows the general decline in juice consumption.
[Note: This post was edited Nov. 30, 2018 to reflect USDA’s updated imports volumes. USDA lowered both July and August apple juice imports from previously published numbers.]
Monthly apple juice imports by season