Posts Tagged “Mexican berry exports”
Berries replaced beer as Mexico’s top agri-food export product in 2022. In the first two months of 2023, the industry confirmed its profitability with a revenue value of $777 million, according to the Bank of Mexico.
This means berries has surpassed other popular crops, such as avocados, and highly demanded products such as beer and tequila.
Berries are produced commercially in 22 of the country’s 32 states, and exported to 38 nations across the globe.
Mexico produces raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, with the latter leading the export figures.
The U.S. is the biggest importer of Mexican berries, followed by the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.
During the 10 years, strawberry, blueberry and raspberry production has tripled from 257,000 metric tons (MT) in 2011 to 754,000MT in 2020.
The total value of Mexican berry exports has increased fivefold during this period.
Víctor Manuel Villalobos, secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Mexico, says that, in 2022, Mexico exported 560,000 tons of strawberries, and that the sector provides over 450,000 jobs.
Around 40% of these jobs belong to women in the industry.
Main producing states are Michoacán, where 58% of all berry production takes place, followed by Jalisco and Baja California with a 17% and 12% participation, respectively.
A recent detailed 18-page National Berry Report by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service details volumes of berries placed in the market since Jan. 1, 2023. It offers information on strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
Peru produces about 68 percent of the blueberries in the market so far this year.
The market has received a total of 112.3 million flats of blueberries, up from 101.2 million a year ago so far this year. Peru has shipped 76.1 million flats of blueberries in 2023. For the same dates in 2022, Peru provided 60.3 million flats.
Running a distant second this year is Chilean blueberry volume, which still accounts for a strong 17.2 million flats. This is up from 14.5 million a year ago.
Mexico’s volume to the market is slightly down this year, to 11.4 million blueberry flats, about a million below the 2022 figure.
The state of Georgia dropped way off this winter, from 11.5 million flats early in 2022 to 6.7 million thus far in 2023. Also, Argentina’s blueberry volume to the U.S. this year is significantly down by 1.2 million, to less than 700,000 flats so far in 2023.
Colombia and Uruguay are both slightly down as blueberry sources, collectively accounting for less than 200,000 flats.
Since the first of the year, strawberry volume from Mexico, totaling 26.7 million flats, almost equals the combined total from California and Florida.
California has shipped 13.7 million flats so far in 2023. Oxnard provided 13.5 million of those total California flats. With Florida providing 14.1 million, the two states in 2023 have combined to ship 27.3 million flats of strawberries.
Florida’s 2023 volume is down year-on-year, from 16.0 million year-on-year. California’s strawberry volume has dropped from 16.7 million a year ago.
Mexico’s volume is up three million flats to date over 2022. A year ago, Mexico’s total strawberry exports to the U.S. totaled 23.6 million flats.
Pharr, TX, is significantly increasing its lead as the strongest Mexican strawberry crossing point. To date in 2023, Pharr’s strawberry volume is 17.6 million flats, up from 14.3 million a year ago. Laredo, TX, rose to 6.0 million flats, up from 4.2 million flats of strawberries in the first six weeks of 2022. The other significant crossing point for Mexican strawberries this year is Otay Mesa (San Diego, CA) which is down two million flats to 3.0 million.
Raspberries and Blackberries
USDA figures show very consistent volumes for both raspberries and blackberries entering the market this year, compared to the same period in 2022. The 2023 blackberry volume is 27.9 million flats, versus 27.3 million in 2022. Raspberry volume for 2023 is 29.9 million flats, up slightly from 28.5 million a year ago.
Mexico is the overwhelming raspberry source, providing all but 300,000 flats for the U.S. market so far. California’s raspberry volume plummeted from a half-million flats in early 2022 to a quarter-million so far this year. So far this year, Canada and Guatemala combine for 38,000 flats of raspberries.
Mexico has supplied about 62 percent of the blackberries for the U.S. market so far this year. Mexico’s blackberry volume this year is up around 1.5 million flats to 17.3 million. All other sources of blackberries account for 10.2 million flats, with California shipping 9.3 million flats into the early 2023 market.
Georgia’s blackberry volume is down about 300,000 flats to 784,238 total in 2023.
Guatemala has shipped about a half-million flats of blackberries in the early weeks of each of the last two years.
Blueberries were the most exported agricultural food in Mexico
during the first quarter of this year, producing over 70,000 tons and representing 15 percent of Mexican berry exports, according to Horticultivos.
The crop has shown growth exceeding 20 percent in recent years, both in growing area and in production.
Currently, about 97 percent of production is exported, or 68,300 tons, to 31 destinations. The main market is the U.S., but it includes important developing countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, and the UAE, among others.
Organic production has taken great relevance globally, with a 15 percent of the blueberry area in Mexico (around 3,360 acres) currently produced organically. About 10,500 tons of organic blueberries have been exported during the current season.
The Mexican berry industry expects to have a 12% increase in blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and blackberry exports for the 2022 season, with shipments – primarily to the neighboring U.S. market – already up to 386,894 tons.
The Mexican National Berry Export Association (Aneberries) reports growers in the country were expected to export more than 584,000 tons of soft fruit by the close of 2022, compared with 462,000 tons in 2021.
Aneberries notes the total exported by June 16 comprised 62,011 tons of blueberries, 50,900 tons of blackberries, 206,238 tons of strawberries and 67,744 tons of raspberries.
Some 95% of Mexican berry exports are destined for the U.S. market, with the remaining 5% divided between 37 countries, covering Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia.
According to Aneberries data, the current planted area in Mexico for berries totaled 34,595 acres.
Mexican berry exports have totaled over 99,000 metric tons (MT) from January to May of this year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture of Mexico.
Berry specialists expect that this year’s exports to continue increasing as in 2020, which grew 10 percent despite the pandemic.
“We exported more than 440,000MT of berries, amounting to over US$2.3 billion dollars,” José Luis Bustamante, president of Aneberries said.
“Berries are the third most exported agricultural product from Mexico after beer and avocados.”
The country has around 128,500 hectares of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. The main producing areas are Michoacán, Jalisco and Baja California.
“Michoacán continues to be the undisputed leader in berry production and the world leader in blackberry production,” Rubén Medina, head of Sedrua and Ricardo Bernal, head of the Ministry of Economic Development (Sedeco) said.
Strawberries and blueberries are considered the berries with the most growth potential for the next 10 years, according to Fresh Seasons.
Over half of Mexico’s strawberry production is destined for the foreign market.
Global imports have increased almost 36 percent in the last 10 years increasing Mexican exports. In 2017, Mexican strawberry exports grew 63 percent compared to the last year.
Mexico is the third largest supplier of strawberries in the international market and represents almost 15 percent of the export value worldwide.
The main markets for Mexican strawberries are the U.S. and Canada but the country sells to many other destinations.
Mexican berry exports will be down from originally forecast to its leading market this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still expecting an increase over 2019.
National Association of Exporters of Berries (Aneberries), reports the country had expected a double digit rise in exports to North America. But in light of the pandemic, it now expects Mexico to see a 5 percent increase over last season in berry exports.
The industry currently has more than 116,000 acres of crops in 22 states and it exports over 400,000 metric tons (MT) each year, a figure that represents $2.5 billion to Mexico. However, 97.5 percent of exports are concentrated in the United States and Canada, so Mexico is looking to diversify into other markets, mainly in Asia and the Middle East.
The primary challenges to gain a foothold of these markets are logistics and commercial relationships. Berry exports must be shipped by air, especially raspberries and blackberries. However, the pandemic has interrupted intercontinental flights.