Posts Tagged “produce exports”

Costa Rica is Expecting Another Increase in Produce Exports

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By Procomer

Portrait of sweet young woman eating blackberries at home - Indoors

Building on several years of increasing produce exports, Costa Rica foresees a strong 2018 as exporters continue to offer an increasingly diverse supply of produce items as well as the capacity to meet new regulatory requirements.

Statistics thru October 2017 (the latest officially available) show Costa Rica exported close to US$2.4 billion in agricultural exports to the world, a growth of 4% compared to the same period in 2016. The United States remains the main destination country with US$1.09 billion from January to October of 2017.

“Costa Rica remains a strong, reliable and versatile exporter of produce,” says Pedro Beirute, CEO of Procomer (Costa Rica’s trade promotion agency).   “We expect to close out 2017 with over US$2.7 billion in ag exports.”

Led by the banana and pineapple industry, Costa Rica’s exports to the world continue to grow and diversify and include strong offerings in yucca, melons, chayote,  and other fruits. Procomer export statistics indicate banana export volume increased over 25% from 2015 to 2017, pineapple by almost 14%, yucca by 12%, watermelon by 57%, and chayote by 33%.   “We expect growth in these highly demanded products to continue in 2018,” says Beirute.

Costa Rica looks to tropical and exotic product growth in 2018.  “The U.S. marketplace continues to demand new and unique products due to the increase in ethnic diversity in the population as well as U.S. consumers expanding pallet,” says Beirute.  “As consumers seek out more tropical, exotic and ethnic items, Costa Rica will play a key role in providing some of this high quality, reliable supply. With more than 145 varieties of fruits and vegetables and more than 365 exporters shipping to the U.S., Costa Rica represents a wealth of potential products for any market.”

Particularly on the future radar for greater development in export offerings are ginger, rambutan, a variety of specialty melons, beets, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin, root products, and more organics. “Costa Rican exporters have long been characterized as serious, trustworthy, professional partners,” says Beirute.  “It only makes sense for U.S. buyers to look a country with our track record of reliability and quality as they seek more and new products.”

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There is Double-Digit Growth for U.S. Produce Imports

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DSCN9013While U.S. exports were flat in 2016, U.S. imports of fresh fruits and vegetables growth hit double-digit rates.

Imports of fresh fruits were up 10 percent, amounting to $12.4 billion in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while the value of imports of fresh vegetables rose 14 percent  to $8 billion. Last year, Mexico supplied 70 percent of the total U.S. vegetable imports and 31 percent of all U.S. fruit imports, according to the USDA.  Chile supplied 17 percent of U.S. fruit imports in 2016.  Canada was a major supplier of fresh vegetables, with 16 percent of all U.S. fresh vegetable imports in 2016.
In 2016, U.S. exports of fresh fruits were unchanged from 2015 at $4.5 billion, according to the USDA.  U.S. exports of fresh vegetables rose 2percent to $2.4 billion in 2016.  Canada purchased 75 percent of U.S. vegetable exports and 36 percent of U.S. fruit exports in 2016; Mexico purchased 11 percent of U.S. fruit exports and 4 percent of U.S. vegetable exports, according to USDA statistics.
Top Banana
The USDA reported the top U.S. imported fresh produce item for 2016 was bananas, at a value of $2.67 billion, up 1 percent from 2015.    Ranking second, were fresh tomato imports that totaled $2.26 billion in 2016, up 17 percent from the previous year.
Berry imports in 2016 (excluding strawberries) hit $2.05 billion, up 11 percent from 2015.
U.S. avocado imports also rose sharply in 2016, totaling $1.91 billion, up 18 percent from 2015.
Other leading produce imported commodities for 2016 were:
  • grapes: $1.5 billion, up 12 percent;
  • peppers: $1.46 billion, up 20 percent;
  • citrus: $937 million, up 9 percent;
  • fresh/frozen strawberries: $745 million, up 22 percent;
  • melons: $710 million, up 16 percent;
  • cucumbers: $690 million, up 12 percent:
  • fresh/frozen pineapples: $668 million, up 3 percent; and
  • asparagus: $630 million, up 12 percent.
Apples Fade
The top U.S. export commodity for 2016 was apples, according to the USDA. Exports of fresh apples totaled $921 million in 2016, off 10 percent compared with the previous year.
The number two export item was grapes, with 2016 value of $785 million, up 5percent compared with 2015.
Other top U.S. fresh produce exports in 2016 were:
  • oranges and tangerines: $700 million, up 13 percent;
  • berries: $686 million, unchanged;
  • cherries: $476 million, up 11 percent;
  • lettuce: $465 million, down 10 percent;
  • potatoes: $203 million, up 11 percent; and
  • onions: $192 million, up 17 percent.

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