U.S. cherry imports to peak in 2022

U.S. cherry imports to hit record in 2022 - Rabobank

U.S. cherry imports to hit record in 2022 - Rabobank

U.S. 2022 cherry imports are set to reach the highest volume in more than a decade, according to Dutch firm Rabobank. With November and December still ahead, and expected increasing volumes from Chile, imports are likely to rise in the fourth quarter.

U.S. imports of fresh cherries increased 50% through August. On that note, imports from Chile “showed an uptick of 131% year-on-year, with record volumes in January and February 2022,” the report said. 

On the other hand, cherry shipments from Canada increased by 8%, marking its highest volume since 2015. 

The availability of fresh cherries in the U.S. has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 3% over the past half decade to roughly 1.3 pounds per person per year (589 grams), as per USDA calculations.

 

According to USDA figures, about 36% of U.S. households have purchased cherries within the past twelve months. The likelihood of purchase increases as the primary household buyer is older and as a household’s annual income is higher. 

For example, the estimated likelihood of purchase is 29% for households with an annual income between USD 25,000 and USD 50,000, while it is 43% for households with an annual income over USD 100,000. 

In terms of ethnicity, the report stated that the likelihood of purchase is higher for Asian and Hispanic households, at 45% and 41%, respectively. The same source also reports that the probability of purchase tends to be higher in the western and northeastern U.S.

Lower U.S. production

Regarding domestic production, the report states that shipments of U.S. fresh cherries to the domestic market in 2022 were down 36% year-on-year. The primary reason for the decline in production was cold spring weather in the Pacific Northwest, according to the release.

This impacted pollination and the early stages of fruit development. As a result, the season started later than usual, which created a significant gap in U.S. grown cherries, particularly during weeks 22-26 of 2022.

In May, during the California season, exports were within the range of recent years, the report said. June and July, however, saw considerable declines. Thus, through August 2022, U.S. exports were down 45% year-on-year, with significant declines in all major destination markets.

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