U.S. fruit imports soared to new record in July
U.S. fruit imports soared by 19 percent year-on-year on July to reach a record US$1.57 billion, according to newly released USDA data.
The previous record for July was set in 2019 when imports were registered at $1.45 billion.
Until that year, the value of the total U.S. fruit imports had risen fairly steadily for the previous decade, with just $672 million recorded in 2019.
Imports in July 2020 fell slightly from 2019 to $1.32 billion amid numerous industry challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All major fruit categories listed by the USDA saw increases in value for July 2021 compared to 2020 - including citrus, deciduous, melons, processed, frozen and juices.
Some of the biggest increases from specific fresh commodities came from: avocados, which grew by 24 percent to $235 million; mandarins, up 16 percent to $49 million; lemons, up 40 percent to $47 million and clementines, up 62 percent to $40 million, and apples, up 43 percent to $34 million.
There were also increases for bananas, up 6 percent to $156 million; blueberries, up 35 percent to $46 million; and kiwifruit, up 84 percent to $24 million.
Aside from fresh, the fruit juice category grew by 37 percent to $189 million, while processed grew 6 percent to $156 million, and frozen grew by 27 percent to $108 million.
Looking at the different origins of U.S. fruit imports, Mexico remained in the lead, with imports from the country rising by 22 percent to $507 million. Next came Chile, which saw a huge 46 percent increase to $162 million, and third was Peru, which saw trade drop by 5 percent to $108 million.
Meanwhile, fruit imports from Costa Rica rose by 17 percent to $100 million, and from Canada they rose by 14 percent to $93 million.