Growth of Fruit Imports by U.S. Nearly Ground to a Halt in 2020

Growth of Fruit Imports by U.S. Nearly Ground to a Halt in 2020

U.S. fruit imports into the U.S. for 2020 lost a decade of momentum, although there were gains for fresh citrus and frozen fruit, according to new USDA data.

Imports under the ‘Fruits and Preparations’ category – which includes all fresh, frozen and processed fruit – rose marginally to $19.9 billion in 2020 from $19.8 billion in 2019. 

The minor increase comes in contrast to the impressive and steady annual growth the category has witnessed since 2010, when imports were registered at $10.4 billion.

The largest category,  ‘Other Fresh Fruit’ – which includes avocados, bananas, and berries – held steady at $10.1 billion. Avocados dropped by 12 percent to $2.3 billion, bananas dropped by 2 percent to $1.9 billion, blueberries fell by 5 percent to $982 million, and strawberries declined by 2 percent to $819 million.

Deciduous fruit imports also remained flat at $2.2 billion. Table grapes rose by 4 percent to $1.7 billion, but apples fell by 18 percent to $110 million.

Meanwhile, fruit juices fell by 13 percent to $1.8 billion and processed fruit rose by 2 percent to $1.8 billion.

Citrus imports rose by 11 percent to $1.4 billion, driven mainly by growth in mandarins and to a lesser extent in oranges. 

Frozen fruit rose by 26 percent to $1.1 billion, fresh melons fell by 12 percent to $607 million, while dried fruit rose by 10 percent to $520 million, and prepared fruit grew by 14 percent to $504 million.

Looking at the different supplying countries across the total fruit category, imports from Mexico and Chile both fell by 3 percent to $8.2 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively.

Peru was the biggest winner of the top five countries, with imports into the U.S. growing by 17 percent to $1.7 billion. Meanwhile, imports from Guatemala fell by 2 percent to $1.9 billion, while from Costa Rica they rose by 2 percent to $1.1 billion.