U.S. fruit and nut exports hit five-year record in 2017
One of the most notable changes was a 42% rise in exports to India, overtaking Japan and coming in just behind Mexico as the fourth-largest market.
The U.S. fruit and nut sectors recorded a solid performance in overseas markets last year with a 6% increase in exports to US$14.9 billion, with particularly high figures for pistachios, cherries and berries.
Shelled almonds continued to be the leading crop accounting for a 22% share with US$3.3 billion in sales, while nuts overall accounted for a 44% share.
Taking nuts out of the equation, exports were still up 5% at US$7.8 billion. Growth was registered in apples (+4%; US$975 million), cherries (+36%; US$618 million), strawberries (+6%; US$473 million), raspberries and blackberries (+14%; US$316 million) and lemons (+3%; US$214 million).
Pistachios recorded the most significant growth with a rate of 31% to hit US$1.35 billion, representing an increment of more than US$300 million and a figure that was almost double the exports achieved in 2015.
Export declines were seen for table grapes (-1%; US$903 million), oranges (-2%; US$632 million), in-shell walnuts (-14%; US$511 million), blueberries (-1%; US$190.5 million) and pears (-9%; US$154 million).
In terms of destination markets, Canada continued to lead the way with a slight rise to US$3.48 billion, followed by Hong Kong (+6%; US$1.55 billion) and Mexico (+10%; US$845 million).
From its position as the seventh-largest market for U.S. fruit and nuts in 2016, India surged through the ranks by 42% to reach US$844.47 million. This is just shy of Mexico's figure and ahead of Japan which saw a 1% decrease.
South Korea continued on its upward trajectory as a strategic destination market, seeing a 15% increase in imports (US$823 million) from the U.S., while growth was also seen in Germany (+23%; US$660 million), China (+29%; US$488 million) and the Netherlands (+10%; US$443 million).