Fruit imports down 9% in May -

U.S. fruit imports down 9% in May, ending decade of continued growth

Total fruit imports to the U.S. fell by 9% year-on-year in May to US$1.6bn, but there was growth in vegetable imports, according to new data from the USDA.

The figure marks the end of continued fruit import growth during May over the last decade, bringing it on par with 2017.

Imports of fruit (in all forms including fresh, processed, frozen, and juice) had risen continually from $848m in May 2009 to $1.8bn in May 2019. 

This year's drop was driven by declines in fresh avocados, bananas, melons and grapes, and partially offset by rises in frozen and processed fruit as well as fresh citrus.

Avocado imports dropped by 24% to $193m, bananas fell by 6% to $158m, while melons fell by 31% to $99m and grapes saw a 22% decline to $137m.

Fruit juice imports also fell by 17% to $US157m.

However, there were increases for processed fruit, which was up 5% at US$154m, frozen fruit, up 14% at $100m, and citrus, up 8% at $82m.

For vegetables, total imports rose by 12 to US$1.3bn. This was driven by fresh vegetables, rising by 16% to $807m thanks largely to increases in tomatoes and bell peppers.