U.S.: Fruit import growth nearly ground to a halt in 2020
Total fruit imports into the U.S. in 2020 lost the momentum they had accumulated over the last decade, although there were gains for fresh citrus and frozen fruit, new USDA data shows.
Imports under the 'Fruits and Preparations' category - which includes all fresh, frozen and processed fruit - rose marginally to $19.9 billion in 2020 from $19.8 billion in 2019.
The minor rise comes in contrast to the significant and steady annual growth the category has seen since 2010, when imports were registered at $10.4 billion.
The largest category, 'Other Fresh Fruit' - which includes avocados, bananas, and berries - held steady at $10.1 billion. Avocados dropped by 12 percent to $2.3 billion, bananas dropped by 2 percent to $1.9 billion, blueberries fell by 5 percent to $982 million, and strawberries declined by 2 percent to $819 million.
Deciduous fruit imports also remained flat at $2.2 billion. Table grapes rose by 4 percent to $1.7 billion, but apples fell by 18 percent to $110 million.
Meanwhile, fruit juices fell by 13 percent to $1.8 billion and processed fruit rose by 2 percent to $1.8 billion.
Citrus imports rose by 11 percent to $1.4 billion, driven mainly by growth in mandarins and to a lesser extent in oranges.
Frozen fruit rose by 26 percent to $1.1 billion, fresh melons fell by 12 percent to $607 million, while dried fruit rose by 10 percent to $520 million, and prepared fruit grew by 14 percent to $504 million.
Looking at the different supplying countries across the total fruit category, imports from Mexico and Chile both fell by 3 percent to $8.2 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively.
Peru was the biggest winner of the top five countries, with imports into the U.S. growing by 17 percent to $1.7 billion. Meanwhile, imports from Guatemala fell by 2 percent to $1.9 billion, while from Costa Rica they rose by 2 percent to $1.1 billion.