About 81.5 million bushels of fresh-market U.S. apples were still waiting to be shipped on Jan. 1, 10% fewer than last year at the same time.

January apple holdings down 10%

The January 2010 figure is, however, 3% higher than the five-year average of 79.3 million bush-els, according to the Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association.

January holdings were down from last year for all of the top five U.S. varieties except red deli-cious, according to the report.

Fresh red holdings rose from 28.6 million bushels on Jan. 1, 2009, to 29.2 million bushels a year later.

The steepest decline was in granny smith holdings, which fell from 12.5 million bushels last year to 8 million bushels this year.

About 10.9 million bushels of fresh galas were still on hand, down from 11.2 million bushels on January 1, 2009. Golden delicious holdings fell from 11.9 to 9.2 million bushels, and fujis from 11.3 to 8.8 million bushels.