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Strawberry Situation and Outlook
|Fresh strawberry production in major producing countries is forecast to decline in Marketing Year (MY) 2001. Canada and Spain are the only countries that expect to have production levels increase or remain the same as last year. Total worldwide exports of fresh strawberries are expected to fall due to lower international prices in MY 2001. Frozen strawberry production in selected countries closely mirror MY 2000 levels.|
In light of expected favorable weather conditions, strawberry production in Marketing Year (MY) 2001 (April 2002/March 2003) is forecast to remain at 25,000 tons, the same as last years crop. In MY 2000 all regions except for British Columbia are expected to increase production. Imports provide the bulk of the domestic supplies for fresh strawberries whereas the domestic production only supplies one-third of the entire domestic Canadian fresh strawberry market.
The Canadian import market for fresh strawberries is dominated by the United States, which holds a 97-percent market share. Fresh strawberry imports for MY 2001 are estimated at 50,000 tons, a 4-percent increase from MY 2000. The Canadian dollar remains weak vis-a-vis the U.S. dollar resulting in higher retail prices for imported fresh strawberries. Increased competition from Argentina and Chile could cut into U.S. fresh strawberry sales.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), fresh strawberries from the United States and Mexico enter Canada duty-free. The Canada/Chile Free Trade Agreement provides free access for fresh strawberries from Chile. A new directive will permit the importation of fresh strawberries from Argentina on a two-year trial basis.
Production of frozen strawberries is forecast at 2,600 tons in MY 2001(April 2002/March 2003), a 4-percent increase from MY 2000. Total import demand for frozen strawberries, particularly from the United States and Mexico, decreased in MY 2000 and is expected to continue in MY 2001. Imports from the U.S. fell 5 percent while Mexican imports dropped by 3 percent in the first eight months (January - August) of calendar year 2000.
Under NAFTA all import duties on U.S. frozen strawberries, including any seasonal duties, were reduced to zero on January 1, 1998. Frozen strawberries from Mexico are assessed a duty of 1.3 Canadian cents/kg, but not less than 2 percent, until the duties are eliminated on December 31, 2002.
Chilean frozen strawberries face a duty of 1.7 Canadian cents/kg, but not less than 2.5 percent. These tariffs will be phased out by 2003.
Mexicos fresh strawberry production in MY 2001 (August 2001/July 2002) is forecast at 119,000 tons, a 2-percent decline from the previous year. According to the industry, there has been a trend to reduce strawberry plantings due to lower market prices, credit unavailability and increased production costs. The MY 2000 strawberry crop was revised downward from 141,000 tons to 121,000 tons as fewer hectares were planted.
As a result of increasing international demand, fresh strawberry exports for MY 2001 are forecast at 34,000 metric tons, a 13-percent increase from MY 2000. The estimate for MY 2000 exports fell from 42,000 tons to 30,000 tons due to higher production costs and weak demand in the early part of the marketing year. Fresh strawberry imports for MY 2001 are expected to be 9,000 tons. The United States is the largest fresh strawberry import supplier for the Mexican market and delivers most of its products from May through November. Strawberry imports were revised upward from 5,000 tons to 9,000 tons in MY 2000, as a result of stronger demand generated by the continued strength of the peso.
Frozen strawberry production in MY 2001 is forecast at 45,000 tons, an increase of 5 percent from MY 2000, but lower than MY 1999 levels. Low international prices for frozen strawberries are driving down production of frozen strawberries. MY 2000 crop estimates were revised downward due to lower international demand, reduced plantings, lower prices and a glut of global supplies.
Exports of frozen strawberries for MY 2001 are forecast to increase 5 percent to 34,500 tons due to expected higher international demand. Falling international prices and increased import competition in the U.S. strawberry market could affect Mexican exports. Imports of frozen strawberries are minimal. Under NAFTA, the 2001 import tariff rate on frozen strawberries is 2.8 percent and the 2002 tariff rate will be 1.4 percent. Mexico charges a 20 percent duty on imports from non-NAFTA countries.
Polands fresh strawberry crop for MY 2001 (January 2002/December 2002) is forecast to fall 33 percent to 160,000 tons due primarily to lower prices and reduced plantings. Favorable weather conditions and increased cultivation resulted in another record crop for MY 2000. During this period, fresh strawberry production jumped 38 percent from 171,000 tons to 238,000 tons. Although yields were higher, lower prices minimized farmers profits.
Exports of fresh strawberries are projected to fall to 11, 970 tons in MY 2001. In MY 2000, exports were estimated at 14,970 tons. Polish exports of fresh chilled strawberries are carried out by private Polish firms as well as foreign companies seasonally operating in Poland. Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Switzerland remain the top export markets. Limited quantities of strawberry imports from Spain and Italy supply the domestic market during the off season. Imports are mostly sold in supermarkets and vegetable stands in larger cities, but their high prices limit sales.
Production of frozen strawberries in MY 2001 (January 2002 /December 2002) is forecast to fall 6 percent to 103,000 tons. The increase in fresh strawberry output in MY 2000 supplied the processing industry with an estimated 110,000 tons in strawberries, significantly increasing exports. No official data on strawberry stocks is available.
Frozen strawberry exports are projected to decrease to 83,000 tons in MY 2001, a 14-percent decrease from the previous year due to lower international prices. Prices for strawberry exports during the summer of 2001 dropped to the level of DM 1,200 ($597) per ton as compared with DM 1,600 ($789) offered during the summer of 2000. Nevertheless, the volume of exports increased an estimated 17 percent to 96,000 tons in MY 2000. The European Union, led by Germany, remained the top export market for Polands frozen strawberries. Relatively high tariffs, ranging from 25-30 percent, limit the imports of frozen strawberries.
Japans fresh strawberry crop for MY 2001 (October 2001/September 2002) is projected at 200,000 tons, a decrease of 2 percent from the previous year. MY 2000 fresh strawberry production was revised upward from 180,000 tons to 205,000 tons.
Imports of fresh strawberries, primarily from the United States, are forecast at 6,000 tons in MY 2001. In MY 2000, the U.S. exported 4,150 tons of fresh strawberries to Japan, accounting for 71 percent of all imports. Japans domestic demand for fresh U.S. strawberry is expected to remain stable at roughly 4,300 tons in MY 2001. Most of the U.S. strawberries are consumed by Japans confectionary industry as cake decorations, but Japanese retailers are expanding their sales of fresh U.S. berries through in-store sampling demonstrations. Fresh strawberry imports from the United States generally peak in the summer and fall, while the winter and spring demands are supplied by domestic production. Fresh strawberry imports are levied a 6.0 percent duty.
Japans frozen strawberry production is quite limited, with an estimated 500 tons in MY 2001. The bulk of the frozen strawberry supplies are imported from China, the United States, South Korea and Mexico. Frozen strawberry imports for MY 2001 are estimated to remain near existing levels of 30,000 tons. In MY 2000, China surpassed the United States as the leading supplier of imported frozen strawberries to Japan due in large part to its cheaper production costs.
The majority of the imported frozen strawberries from the United States are generally used for jam processing, sweet desserts and tropical drinks. Some of the supplies are also used in scones, breads, and Danish pastries. U.S. strawberries are currently selling at 498-580 yen ($4.17 - $ 4.86) per container (280 grams) in Tokyos supermarkets. Duties on imported frozen strawberries range from 9.6 to 12 percent.
Although fresh strawberry production is estimated to increase by 6 percent to 322,000 tons in MY 2001 (January 2002/December 2002), it is significantly down from the record 370,000 tons produced in MY 1998. Industry sources expect further planting reductions over the next three years. In MY 2000, fresh strawberry production fell an estimated 13 percent from the previous year, largely due to unfavorable weather conditions and labor shortages.
In MY 2001 exports of fresh strawberries are projected to reach 200,000 tons, an increase of 3 percent from the previous year. As a result of lower supplies and adverse weather conditions, total exports in MY 2000 fell to 195,000 tons. Top markets for Spains fresh strawberry exports remain Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Imports are quite limited, with France and Morocco being the largest suppliers. Spains large strawberry supplies and transportation issues make market conditions unfavorable for U.S. exports.
As a result of less land under cultivation, frozen strawberry production is forecast to decline by 2 percent in MY 2001 (January 2002/December 2002) to reach 35,200 tons. In MY 2000, strawberry production was revised from 41,500 tons to 32,000 tons. Frozen strawberry exports in MY 2001 are forecast to decrease by 4 percent to 24,000 tons. The majority of its frozen strawberry exports are destined for other EU countries.
Fresh strawberry production in Italy is expected to fall 5 percent in MY 2001 (January 2002/December 2002), amounting to 97,000 metric tons. MY 2000 production numbers were revised downward from 102,000 tons to 101,600 tons due to labor shortages and lower farmers incomes. Italys exports of fresh strawberries are projected to be 35,000 tons in MY 2001, a 5-percent decrease from MY 2000. Imports of fresh strawberries for MY 2001 are expected to remain the same as the previous year at 28,000 tons.
In MY 2001, frozen strawberry production is forecast to remain unchanged from the previous year at 10,000 tons. Exports of frozen strawberries are relatively small and are estimated to fall 23 percent to 1,000 tons in MY 2001. Imports, primarily from Spain, are forecast at 8,000 tons. MY 2000 imports were revised downward from 8,000 tons to 6,000 tons as a result of Spains smaller strawberry crops.
The strawberry forecast for MY 2001 will be available in April on our strawberry commodity page, which is located at the following address:
In CY 2000, fresh strawberry production was up 2 percent to 838,052 tons from the previous year. Planted acreage from the two largest strawberry producing states, California and Florida, was up a combined 10 percent.
In the first nine months of CY 2001, U.S. exports of fresh strawberries were approximately 51,000 tons, a 10-percent decrease from the same period a year ago as a result of a smaller strawberry crop. Total exports in CY 2000 reached an estimated 62,000 tons, with Canada, Mexico and Japan remaining the top export markets.
In the first nine months of CY 2001, exports of frozen strawberries slightly increased to 15,090 tons, compared to 15,066 tons for the same period a year ago. U.S. exports of frozen strawberries face increasing competition from low-cost production countries like China and Mexico. In CY 2000, total frozen exports fell 23 percent from the previous year to approximately 19,400 tons. Japan, Canada and Australia remain the largest markets for frozen U.S. strawberry exports.
(The FAS Attache Report
search engine contains reports on Fresh Strawberry industries for
6 countries, including Spain, Italy, and Mexico. For information
on production and trade, contact Rey Santella at 202 720-6877 or
visit the strawberry commodity page at http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/horticulture/strawberry.html
For information on marketing contact Elizabeth Mello at 202-690-6057).