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US cranberry surplus remains high, harvest still underway

U.S. cranberry farmers are harvesting what’s expected to be another large crop, even as the industry tries to cut a price-suppressing surplus. For a second straight year, fruit handlers must withhold some berries, a USDA-approved response to an inventory that had grown bigger than annual sales. The industry’s Cranberry Marketing Committee, which requested volume controls, projects the supply will exceed the demand in the coming year by 66 percent.

An Ilwaco farmer said he has seen the price he receives for a 100-pound barrel fall by about $13 from $45 in the past two years. “I anticipate we’re going in be in the low 30s for another year or two, hopefully not longer than that.”

The surplus built up over several years as American farmers grew bumper crops and Canadian farmers stepped up production, too. The marketing committee predicts this year’s U.S. harvest will be near 2016’s record. describes how, while U.S. consumption has been flat, exports of cranberries have been rising for several years. New tariffs threaten that trend, according to the Cranberry Institute, an association of handlers.

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