Canada was the leading market for U.S. fresh fruit exports from October 2011 to June 2012, with $1.15 billion in sales, up 4.9% from October 2011 to June 2012. Japan, the No. 2 export market for fresh fruit exporters, recorded a 6% increase with $385 million in sales.
Total U.S. fruit export sales, at $3.46 billion from October to June, were up 8.8% from the same period a year ago, with gains in North America and East Asia overcoming declines in sales to Australia, Europe and the Middle East.
Exports of U.S. fruit were off 18% to the Middle East from October to June.
The weakening euro has resulted in more aggressive export competition from European apple suppliers in the Middle East market, said Nick Kukulan, president of Oakland, Calif.-based Paramount Export Co. France, Spain and Italy have become bigger competitors in the Middle Eastern market, in addition to low-priced apples from China.
Kukulan said export sales of U.S. apples should be strong this fall, as Chile and New Zealand both are expected to clean up soon. “It is going to be even a stronger season for North America,” he said.