U.S. fruit imports skyrocketed to new record at start of year

U.S. fruit import value skyrocketed to new record through February

U.S. fruit import value skyrocketed to new record through February

The value of total fruit imports into the U.S. soared by a quarter to a new record over January and February this year, with fresh, frozen and processed categories all seeing double-digit growth.

USDA data shows that imports over the two months rose by 23 percent year-on-year to $4.9 billion. 

In the previous four years over the same two months, the import value had always totalled between $3.7 billion and $4 billion.

However, the import volume did not rise at the same pace as the value, growing by just 7 percent year-on-year. But they still hit a record of 2.6 million tons. 

Looking at the value, the 'other fruit category' - which is by far the largest and includes avocados, berries and bananas - rose by 19 percent to $2.5 billion. The rise was driven primarily by avocados and blueberries.

The citrus category saw the biggest growth, almost doubling to $253 million. That increase was driven by mandarins and limes.

The other categories listed by the USDA - deciduous, juices, processed, frozen, melons, dried and prepared - all experiencing growth ranging from the mid-teens to the mid-twenties. 

Of the top-five supplying countries, import growth was largest from Mexico and Peru - at 27 percent each. Next was Chile, up 14 percent, Guatemala, up 11 percent, and Costa Rica, up 6 percent.

 

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