Posts Tagged “vegetable imports”

U.S. Vegetable Imports Jump While Fruits Decline Slightly

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Vegetable imports notched a 10 percent increase, while ottal fruit imports to the U.S. fell by 2 percent in the first half of the year, recently released USDA data shows.

The drop in fruit imports to the US was driven by a 19 percent drop in fruit juices and a 1 percent dip in fresh deciduous imports to the U.S. Fresh citrus imports fell by 1 percent to the US. The predominant ‘other’ fresh fruit category – which includes avocados, bananas and berries – saw no change, holding steady from January through June.

Avocado imports fell by 3 percent during the period, while bananas rose by 1 percent and blueberries fell by 17 percent and strawberries declined by 6 percent. Table grape imports through mid-February were up 35 percent, following by a 9 percent rise through the end of March, and then a 17 percent drop in the next three months.

Apples were down 22 percent, while limes were down 13 percent, mandarins were up 42 percent and oranges were up 19 percent.

Meanwhile, the total vegetable category was up 10 percent, driven by a 10 percent increase in imports of fresh vegetables excluding potatoes. Frozen vegetables were up 8 percent, while prepared or preserved vegetables rose by 15 percent. Potatoes notched a 38 percent uptick.

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U.S. Imports of Fresh Vegetables Continue to Increase

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For the 15th consecutive year U.S. fresh vegetable imports have increased, according to the latest numbers from the USDA.


Imports accounted for about nearly 32 percent of the total fresh vegetable supply in 2018, up from nearly 30 percent in 2017 and almost 25 percent in 2010.

The vegetable commodity with the highest import share was asparagus, with nearly 99 percent accounted for by imports in 2018. That compares with over 95 percent in 2017 and nearly 90 percent in 2010.

Over 60 percent of U.S. fresh tomato supplies in 2018 were imported, up from 59 percent in 2017 and 53 percent in 2010.

The lowest share of imports for a fresh vegetable commodity was held by spinach, with imports accounting for just over 3 percent of the supply in 2018.

The rising share of imports does illustrate the tough competitive position for U.S. growers, particularly for labor-intensive crops like asparagus. The import share of head lettuce (5 percent) and leaf lettuce (10 percent) are still relatively low, though both broccoli and cauliflower now have 20 percent of supply from imports.

Unless mechanization makes rapid gains in the next decade, the import share of fresh vegetable supply will continue to increase.

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Fresh Produce Imports are Expected to Outpace exports

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DSCN3254+1With the USDA forecasting imports into the United States will exceed exports, that is good news for produce haulers.  Imported produce continues to grow, especially during the winter months.  U.S. ports, particularly in the Southeastern USA are handling more imported fresh perishables than ever.

The USDA is projecting stronger growth for U.S. imports of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Fresh fruit imports in FY 2015 will total $10.3 billion, 8.9 percent higher than 2014 and 23 percent above fiscal year 2013.  Fresh vegetable imports are forecast at $7.1 billion in 2015, 7 percent above FY 2014 and 8 percent above fiscal year 2013. The top imported fresh commodity in 2014 was Mexican tomatoes at $1.6 billion, 1 percent  above 2013. U.S. imports of Mexican avocados surged in value in 2014, rising from $920 million to $1.23 billion.

U.S. imports of fruits and vegetables will continue to outpace exports.  U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable exports will reach $7.9 billion in fiscal year 2015.  Strong exports of fresh fruits and vegetables will help total U.S. horticultural exports reach record levels. At $7.9 billion, fresh fruit and vegetable exports for fiscal year 2015 (October 2014 through September 2015) are forecast 6.4 percent ahead of fiscal year 2014’s total of $7.42 billion.

The U.S. exported $600 million in fresh berries to Canada in FY 2014, representing the biggest commodity export value to any country.  U.S. berry exports to Canada were 2 percent down from 2013,  but 5 percent above 2012.  U.S. exports of lettuce to Canada topped $400 million, and both grapes and apples tallied more than $200 million in export sales to Canada.  The top export to Mexico was apples at $257 million, down about 25 percent compared with 2013.

Imports from distribution centers near South Florida ports – grossing about $2300 to Chicago.

 

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Chilean Fruit Imports, Plus a Larger View of Produce Imports/Exports

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DSCN4931Chilean grape loadings should be up, while Chilean avocado loadings should be down this season at U.S. ports.  On a larger scale, U.S. imports and exports of fresh produce are increasing.

The first Chilean grape shipments were launched last week and should arrive by boat at Philadelphia in time for distribution prior to Christmas.  Last season Chile exported about 10 million cartons of grapes to the United States.  This season the initial report pegged the season total to be in the 11 million to 11.5 million carton range.

Chile’s avocado export volumes could take a tumble this season, in part due to the ongoing drought.  As a result the country may  only ship half the amount of fruit it did last season, or potentially just over a third.

The drought is drastically affecting avocados, mainly in the Valparaiso region where about 75 percent of national production is located.

Looking beyond just imports from Chile, the USDA predicts fresh produce imports will outpace exports.   U.S. fresh produce exports will reach $7.9 billion in fiscal year 2015.

Strong exports of fresh fruits and vegetables will help total U.S. horticultural exports reach record levels.  At $7.9 billion, fresh fruit and vegetable exports for fiscal year 2015 (October 2014 through September 2015) are forecast 6.4 percent ahead of fiscal year 2014’s total of $7.42 billion.  The U.S. exported $600 million in fresh berries to Canada in FY 2014, representing the biggest commodity export value to any country.  U.S. berry exports to Canada were 2 percent down from 2013 but 5 percent above 2012. U.S. exports of lettuce to Canada topped $400 million, and both grapes and apples tallied more than $200 million in export sales to Canada. The top export to Mexico was apples at $257 million, down about 25 percent compared with 2013.

The USDA is projecting even stronger growth for U.S. imports of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Fresh fruit imports in FY 2015 will total $10.3 billion, 8.9 percent higher than 2014 and 23 percent above fiscal year 2013.  Fresh vegetable imports are forecast at $7.1 billion in 2015, 7 percent above FY 2014 and 8 percent above fiscal year 2013.

The top imported fresh commodity in 2014 was Mexican tomatoes at $1.6 billion, 1 percent above 2013.  U.S. imports of Mexican avocados surged in value in 2014, rising from $920 million to $1.23 billion.

Mexican tomatoes and other vegetables crossing at Nogales, AZ – grossing about $6800 to New York City.
Mexican avocados and other tropical fruit, plus Rio Grande Valley, Tx citrus – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.

 

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