The latest crop update from US-based Northwest Cherry Growers has shown that cherry shipments (as of 1 July) are well ahead of last year's equivalent figures, with shipments climbing to just over 5m 20lb equivalent boxes compared with 2.11m in 2008.
Figures are still well below 2007 levels, however, when shipments stood at 6.65m boxes on 1 July.
However, the 17 days that it took to hit 5m boxes of cherries shipped was the quickest of the past four years, according to NW Cherry Growers, compared with 33 days in 2008, 24 days in 2007 and 23 days in 2006.
Fruit size is larger than the five-year average of 46.2 per cent at 10.5 Row and larger, with this year's crop boasting 53.8 per cent of boxes at 10.5 row or larger. The overall crop breaks down with 0.5 per cent of cherries at 9 Row, 6.1 per cent at 9.5 Row, 17.2 per cent at 10 Row, 29.9 per cent at 10.5 Row, 27.1 per cent at 11 Row, 14.4 per cent at 11.5 Row and 4.7 per cent at 12 Row.
Last month, leading industry players told Fruitnet.com that both quality and quantity of fruit is expected to be high this season.
“The quality of this year’s Bing crop is probably the best I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been in the business,” said David Martin of Stemilt Growers. “The Rainiers are also outstanding. Everything is in place for this to be one of the best industry seasons ever."