Avocado imports overtake bananas for the first time ever in the U.S. - FreshFruitPortal.com

Avocado imports overtake bananas for the first time ever in the U.S.

Avocado imports overtake bananas for the first time ever in the U.S.

Avocados have overtaken bananas as the most valuable fruit import in the United States, accounting for 15% of the total last year which itself hit a new high of US$18.1 billion. 

This represents almost a US$6 billion rise since 2013, largely driven by imports from Mexico which have more than doubled in the same timeframe and also increased 37% last year to reach US$7.2 billion.

According to recently published statistics by ITC Trade Map for 2017, bananas still remained the leading fruit import commodity in terms of volume with a 54% uptick to 4.8 million metric tons (MT), but this was a rebound to fairly normal levels after a a sharp decline in 2016.

Second in volume were pineapples which also saw a similar percentage rebound to 1.15 million MT, while avocados were third with a 10% rise to 900,186MT.

Imports of fresh table grapes rose 3% to US$1.7 billion, making it the third-largest commodity by value, while other categories that saw upticks included raspberries and blackberries (+14%; US$994 million), pineapples (+4%; US$750 million), mangoes (+13%; US$656 million), strawberries (+15%; US$643 million), lemons and limes (+10%; US$550 million) and mandarins (+22%; US$462 million).

Blueberries saw their first decline over the five-year period, albeit by just 1% down to US$970 million, while fresh melons also fell off what had been an upward trajectory, dropping 7% to US$439 million.

It should be noted that the Trade Map list also includes cashew nuts, which were the fourth-largest commodity in value with a 28% rise to US$1.6 billion. This explains much of Vietnam's phenomenal rise to become the country's fourth-largest supplier.

Chile retained its position in second place by a long shot despite a 9% drop to US$2.3 billion, followed by Guatemala (+9%; US$1.5 billion), Vietnam (+29%; US$1.2 billion), Costa Rica (+8%; US$1.2 billion), Peru (+25%; US$915 million), Ecuador (-25%; US$461 million), Honduras (+1%; US$452 million), Canada (-7%; US$361 million) and India (+50%; US$231 million).

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