U.S. fruit imports grew by a quarter in April to hit new record
U.S. total fruit imports grew by a quarter in April 2021, surpassing the $2 billion mark for the first time, according to USDA data.
Imports of all fruit categories - including fresh, frozen, and processed - rose to $2.12 billion, up 25 percent from the $1.69 billion registered in April 2020 - the first full calendar month of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The figure registered in April this year is also up on the previous record of $1.99 billion set in the same month in 2019.
The increase was driven largest by avocados, berries and table grapes.
The value of avocado imports rose by 30 percent year-on-year to $231 million - the second-highest level recorded in April, behind the $303 million in 2019.
All four major berry categories also saw significant increases. Raspberries grew by 17 percent to $143 million, strawberries by 45 percent to $121 million, blackberries by 48 percent to $89 million, and blueberries by 42 percent to $95 million.
In addition, table grape imports rose by 31 percent to $190 million, mangoes by 87 percent to $57 million, and limes nearly tripled to $79 million.
A notable decline came in bananas, with imports falling by 6 percent to $158 million.
In terms of top-five supplying countries, imports from Mexico saw the biggest growth, rising by 39 percent to $1.1 billion. Imports from Chile increased by 19 percent to $216 million, from Guatemala by 18 percent to $216 million, from Costa Rica by 5 percent to $107 million, and from Canada by 17 percent to $53 million.