There has been a record crop of Gala, Braeburn and the newer varieties, while Bramley's showed a "stunning" rise of 19 per cent to 16,400 tonnes, he said. Pears also saw a rise of nearly four per cent to 18,400 tonnes.
"We have been able to sell it all around four weeks ahead of plan, despite the difficulties of a large European crop and the collapse of prices brought on by the Russian trade ban," said Barlow. "That's remarkable and shows the terrific level of support from retailers. Returns to growers could have been much worse."
Sainsbury's has regained top spot as the biggest seller of UK-grown apples, with a 31.3 per cent share, he added.
Next season British apple growers will have less to contend with from Europe, where the crop is expected to be down at least five per cent and the price effects of the Russian trade ban have largely dissipated, he said.
"But there will be strong demand from growers for higher returns. They are determined that these can't continue at current levels."
The season will be seven-to-ten days later than last year, which was unusually early. Bramley's are likely to slip back by around 20 per cent due to grubbing and reduced size, leading to insufficient volumes for fresh and processing, which Barlow described as "very annoying".
Pears are also likely to be down around 20 per cent due to a poor start to the season. But "overall it looks like being a good season", said Barlow.