(March 15) Movement of storage apples in February was down from last year at the same time but above the five-year average, according to the March Market News report from the U.S. Apple Association, Vienna, Va.

At about 12 million bushels, movement of regular and controlled-atmosphere storage apples in February was 7% lower than in February 2006 but 4% above the five-year average for the month, the association reported.

The drop from last year was even higher for fresh-market apples. Fresh-market movement was down 10% from February 2006, though still 3% above the five-year average.

Fresh apples holdings on March 1 were, at 49 million bushels, 4% lower than last year but even with the five-year average, according to the association.

Regionally, holdings were up 13% in the Northeast and 49% in the Midwest compared to March 1, 2006. They were down in the Southeast (4%), the Southwest (79%) and the Northwest (7%).

By variety, red delicious holdings were, at 21 bushels, up 8% last year at the same time. Granny smiths were up 6%, empires 29% and mcintoshes 17%.

Holdings of golden delicious were down 38%, fujis down 7% and galas were down 4%.