U.S. imports of berries, peppers spike in 2012 - The Packer

U.S. imports of berries, peppers spike in 2012

02/13/2013 04:44:00 PM
Tom Karst

Berries, peppers and cucumbers were among the fastest-rising U.S. fresh produce imports by value for 2012.

U.S. imports of peppers and cucumbers rose sharply, but the value of tomato imports dropped double digits percentage-wise in 2012, according to U.S. trade data.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s trade statistics showed tomato imports totaled $1.86 billion in 2012, down 13% from $2.14 billion in 2011. Total U.S. imports of fresh vegetables tallied $5.87 billion, nearly unchanged from 2011.

Mexico provided the lion’s share of U.S. fresh vegetable imports, accounting for $4.1 billion of U.S. fresh vegetable imports in 2012, or about 69% of all imports. Mexico’s share of U.S. tomato imports was 85%.

U.S. imports of peppers rose 15% in 2012, totaling $1.07 billion, compared with $933 million in 2011. The value of U.S. cucumber imports also rose strongly, accounting for $492 million in 2012, up 27% from 2011. Asparagus imports, at $440 million in 2012, were about 1% higher than 2011. Mexico supplied 72% of both U.S. fresh pepper and cucumber imports, and 49% of asparagus imports in 2012.

Imports of berries (excluding strawberries) totaled $1.76 billion in 2012, up 15% from 2011. Within the fresh berry category, imports of cultivated blueberries were up 11%, with raspberries up 36%.

Strawberry imports (combined fresh and frozen) totaled $497 million, 36% higher than 2011 imports.

U.S. imports of bananas/plantains tallied $2.08 billion in 2012, up 5% from 2011.

 

Top ten U.S. fresh vegetable imports

($millions)

                             2011    2012  Change

Tomatoes               2,137   1,868  -13%

Peppers                    933    1,069 +15%

Cucumbers                386      492  +27%

Asparagus                 435      440    +1%

Onions                      290      281     -3%

Squash                     226       264   +17%

Lettuce                     169       165     -2%

Garlic                        104       144   +34%

Potatoes                   176       133    -24%

Cauliflower/broccoli    138       123    -11%

Source: USDA


Top ten U.S. fresh fruit imports

($millions)

                              2011      2012       Change

Bananas/plantains    1,983     2,084      +5%

Berries (ex straw)      1,022      1,176     +15%

Grapes                     1,034      1,044     +1%

Avocados                    912         860      -6%

Pineapples                  494         536      +9%

Citrus                         515         502      -3%

Strawberries                365         497       +36%

Melons                       474         470       -1%

Mangoes                    343         376      +10%

Apples                       133         168      +23%

Source: USDA



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