U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Imports Continue to Grow
The import of fresh fruits and vegetables into the United States has continued to grow over the past year. A total of 22.1 million tons were imported. This was 3% more than in 2021. Imports have also increased gradually over previous years. Although the United States is far from European plots, import prices for fresh fruit and vegetables have risen sharply, namely by 8%. As a result, the value of imports in the past year amounted to over $28 billion. This makes the United States by far the world’s largest importer. Germany is second with half the value of the United States.
The export of fresh fruits and vegetables from the United States is gradually decreasing. In 2022 even more than 10% to 3.9 million tonnes. More than half goes to Canada and Mexico is also a big
customer. Exports to the Netherlands fell sharply in 2022, by 10% to 86,000 tonnes. For the most part, these are sweet potatoes.
More than half of Mexico
Just over half of US imports come from Mexico. Last year, this amounted to 11.4 million tonnes. This was 2% more than in 2021. Imports have increased over previous years
Mexican product slightly faster than average.
Overall, bananas are the most important import product, but tomatoes, peppers, avocados, cucumbers, lemons and watermelons are the most important for imports from Mexico. In 2022, more tomatoes will be imported from Mexico. At 1.8 million tonnes, it was a record amount. The sharp drop (-13%) in Mexican avocado imports is striking. In addition to tomatoes, a record amount of Mexican cucumbers were also imported into the United States in 2022.
Banana main product
After Mexico, Guatemala is the second largest supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables to the United States, but by a long way. In 2022, it will be 2.75 million tonnes. It was a record amount. Almost three quarters are bananas.
Costa Rica is number three with an import of 1.83 million tons in 2022. Imports from this country are decreasing very slowly. Pineapples account for around 60% and bananas are the other major product. Canada follows as the 4th supplier. With a quantity of 1.13 million tonnes last year, a record amount. Cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are the most important products to import from Canada.
Strong growth in imports from Peru
Peru, second, follows as 5th. Last year the one million tonne limit was exceeded for the first time, while in 2017 it was still 0.57 million tonnes. In particular, the import of grapes from Peru has increased rapidly, from less than 100,000 tons in 2017 to 250,000 tons last year. Onions, blueberries, avocados and satsumas are the other main products imported from Peru.
Then follow the banana countries Ecuador and Honduras, then Chile. Over the past year, imports from this country have fallen by 8% to 760,000 tonnes. In 2018, it was already more than 900,000 tons. The import of Chilean grapes has increased well in 2022, namely by 17% to more than 300,000 tons. This was offset by a sharp drop in imports of Chilean oranges, mandarins and apples. While the import of blueberries from Peru is booming, that from Chile has fallen in recent years.
In small countries, growth is noticeable from China and Morocco
Among the other suppliers, we note that imports from China and Morocco are growing strongly. That of China at a quantity of 200,000 tons and that of Morocco at 125,000 tons. China delivers
especially ginger, sweet potatoes and garlic. Morocco mainly produces mandarins and oranges.
The import of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Netherlands will decrease further in 2022 to 13,000 tonnes. In 2017, it was still 34,000 tons. Since 2021, onions are the most important product. Previously it was peppers, but in 2022 the import of Dutch peppers will have resumed. About 1,000 tons are imported from Belgium every year, mainly chicory.
Click here for background figures
For more information:
John Kees Boon
Facts about fruits and vegetables
“Devoted bacon guru. Award-winning explorer. Internet junkie. Web lover.”