There is a definite trend of increased imports and rising value to the economic conditions in the Southwest, according to a report issued by the Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University. The annul report is requested by the Texas International Produce Association.
“The economic impacts of U.S. produce imports from Mexico on southwestern land ports of entry are substantial, expected to total $1.62 billion by 2025 as these imports continue to grow over the next five to seven years,” the study surmised. “Additional employment will occur as 13,241 jobs will be required to support this increase in economic activity.”
About 98 percent of these imports entered the United States by land ports of entry on the southern border in the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The report determined about 90 percent of these imports are fresh fruits and vegetables, representing a total of $10.67 billion of value.
Using 40,000-pound equivalents as the average weight of a truckload, it was estimated that these shipments represent more than 463,000 truckloads. Texas has been the leading port of entry for the past six years and is expected to maintain the No. 1 slot through the furthest projection year of 2025. In fact, each year it is solidifying its hold on first place.
When the survey began in 2007, a total of about 261,000 truckloads of product came from Mexico into the United States through those four states. Arizona accounted for around 112,000 loads while Texas chipped in with about 101,000. California added 43,000 loads and New Mexico contributed 4,378 truckloads. Arizona’s market share was 43 percent followed by Texas’ 39 percent.
In 2016, 222,000 loads came in to the United States through a Texas port representing about 48 percent of the shipments. A rizona’s 161,000 loads represented another 35 percent. California accounted for 68,000 truckloads, representing 15 percent. New Mexico, of course, lags behind but its 18,500 loads in 2016 represented a 400 percent increase in a decade.
Projecting forward, the researchers predicted that in 2025, 688,000 loads would come through the four states with Texas’ share approaching 350,000 loads, which would be more than 50 percent of the total.