Fueled by a 24% surge in the value of Mexican tomato imports, U.S. imports of vegetables from all countries grew at twice the pace of U.S. fruit imports in the first 11 months of 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The value of U.S. fresh and frozen vegetable imports from all countries jumped 12% in the first 11 months of 2011, compared with a 6% rise in the value of U.S. fresh and frozen fruit imports. The top suppliers of vegetables to the U.S. were Mexico (58%), Canada (27%) and Peru (3%).
Leading foreign suppliers of fruit to the U.S., in order, were Mexico (34% of total), Chile (20%) and Costa Rica (11%).
U.S. imports of Mexican fresh tomatoes were 24% in value but actually 4% lower in volume in the first 11 months of 2011. Other fresh commodities from Mexico showing double-digit gains in import value included avocados (up 63%), berries (up 10%), asparagus (11%), onions (15%), lettuce (38%), broccoli/cauliflower (39%), carrots (74%), radishes (25%) and okra (41%).