As the global produce community comes together in Orlando at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit, let me rank the top ten reports from the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service this year.

If you are not familiar with the USDA FAS, the agency issues Global Agricultural Information Network reports that provide market intelligence from global growing regions and U.S. export markets. Find updated reports at this link.

Here are my top ten reports for 2018, and some honorable mentions..

1. Mexico tomato annual
Gist: USDA says Mexican tomato production for marketing year 2018/19 is estimated at 3.4 million metric tons (MMT), similar to the previous marketing year. Mexican producers continue to move from open field production to protected agriculture technologies, resulting in higher yields. Mexico and the United States will be negotiating the Tomato Suspension Agreement. The Agreement ended March 2018, and is revised every 5 years.

2. Chile Fresh Deciduous Fruit Semi-annual
Gist: Chile’s abundant rainfall during the winter allowed water reservoirs to reach full capacity that would likely secure irrigation for up to five marketing years. Yields are expected to reach average levels of a normal year.

3. Canada Potato Products Annual 
Gist: USDA FAS/Ottawa forecasts a 1% decline in total potato production for marketing year 2018-19, following a challenging growing year for potato growers across Canada due to high temperatures and below average precipitation. Canadian imports of fresh potatoes are forecast to grow 1% in the year ahead on smaller production and lower carryover stocks. 

4. Principal Border Entry Points for in Mexico U.S. Agricultural Exports
Gist: USDA provides an updated summary of the nine principal ports of entry (POE) through which the majority of agricultural products located along the 1,900 mile-long United States–Mexico border enter Mexico.

5. Retail Foods Mexico 2018
Gist: USDA reports the retail sector had a single-digit value growth in 2017 (4.5%), and part of the growth came from inflationary pressures rather than exclusively from volume sales. Major multinationals and local companies will continue to expand throughout Mexico, launching their online platforms to capture new consumers via e-commerce and m-commerce (mobile purchases).

6. Canada Retail Foods
Gist: The USDA reports that though the Canadian retail market is largely consolidated, the dominant major outlets and nearly 7,000 independent retailers provide excellent opportunities for new to-export / new-to-market U.S. companies.

7. Retail Foods London
Gist: USDA reports four supermarket chains hold over 70% market share of the UK retail grocery sector. The report provides an overview of UK retail outlets and guidance on how best to place U.S. products in the UK market.

8. China Responds to U.S. 301 Announcement with Revised Product List
Gist: USDA reports on China’s retaliatory tariffs...

9. South African citrus
Gist: USDA reports drought conditions in the Western Cape are expected to result in a decrease in the production of tangerines/mandarins. However, duty free exports of tangerines/mandarins to the United States under the African Growth Opportunity Act are expected to continue their strong annual growth.

10.  Canada publishes food safety regulations
Gist: USDA provides update on the final Safe Food for Canadians Act regulations. Canada’s new food safety regulations come into force on January 15, 2019.

Others worth looking at:
Taiwan retail report 

France Retail Foods

Hong Kong fruit

South African Government confirms collaboration with organized agriculture on land reform

Taiwan fruit annual

Japanese Free Trade Agreements to Affect U.S. Fruit Competitiveness

Japan Trade Agreements to Present Challenges for U.S. Vegetables

Japan Stone Fruit Annua

Korea retail foods

Australia stone fruit annual

The Dutch Food Retail Report

Japan Retail Food Sector

China stone fruit annual

Brazil citrus semi-annual 

Argentina fresh deciduous 

New Zealand Fresh Deciduous Fruit Semi-annual

South African Fresh Deciduous Fruit Semi-annual