The final figure will likely be slightly higher as these Office of Agricultural Research and Policy (ODEPA) statistics refer to the season until the end of February, but shipments in March and April are not as significant.
This phenomenal volume represents a 93% uptick on the previous season, while export value was up 80% at US$804 million.
The lion’s share of volume went to the Chinese mainland, itself notching a 109% spike up to 156,314MT, while big jumps were also seen in the United States (+20%; 7,570MT), Taiwan (+51%; 3,370MT), Brazil (+39%; 3,194MT), South Korea (+95%; 2,657MT), Ecuador (+143%; 2,028MT) and the U.K. (+45%; 1,859MT).
Hong Kong was the only major destination market that saw a decline, dropping 4% to 2,965MT.
Shipments to China are now almost four times what they were in 2013-14, while in the same timeframe export volumes to South Korea have grown 78-fold from the low base of 34MT.
And while the average price is down just 7% on the previous campaign, it is 42% lower than the level of US$7.60 per kilo registered in 2015-16.