Dutch apple harvest lowest in decade, prices set to soar

The apple harvest in the Netherlands is about 30% down than a year ago and is the smallest in the past 10 years, the produce sector lobby group AGF said on Friday.

As a result, prices for eating as well as industrial apples (used for juices) are expected to reach record highs, AGF added. The problems began with an unusual warm spell in April and early May which caused the  trees to blossom earlier than usual. Then an unexpected and heavy frost killed off much of the crop, AGF said.

Prices are expected to be 30% to 50% higher than usual said Izak Heijboer, AGF fruit specialist. He added there were a number of uncertainties, such as hail, which could still affect the harvest.  Two years ago the Dutch apple crop was decimated by hail.