WORLD HORTICULTURAL TRADE AND U.S. EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES
U.S. Horticultural Exports Rose 17 Percent in January From a Year Earlier
WASHINGTON, April 1, 1997--U.S. exports of horticultural products to all countries in January 1997 reached $824.9 million, up 17 percent from the same month a year earlier. Ten out of 15 categories of horticultural exports registered increases. Categories with the most significant increases in January were fruit and vegetable juices (up $12.9 million or 29 percent), fresh vegetables (up $10.2 million or 13 percent), frozen vegetables (up $9.9 million or 34 percent), wine (up $9.2 million or 58 percent), and miscellaneous products (up $55.7 million or 33 percent). During the first 4 months (October-January) of fiscal year 1997, the total value of U.S. horticultural exports was $3.6 billion--9 percent above the same period last year.
Grape exports from selected countries in 1996 reached a record 1.76 million tons, 11 percent above 1995 shipments. Chile and Italy accounted for the bulk of the increase in grape exports. U.S. sales in 1996 were down slightly as a sharp decrease in shipments to Canada more than offset expanded sales to Hong Kong and Taiwan. U.S. exports slowed at the end of 1996 because of a smaller-than-anticipated pack and diversion of grapes to meet increased demand for wine and raisins.
Macadamia exports by selected countries in 1996/97 are forecast to increase 16 percent to a record 34,345 metric tons (in-shell basis). Australia is by far the world's largest exporter of macadamias, accounting for 44 percent of the world total. Kenya ranks as the second-largest exporter of macadamias, and the United States third. Although the United States is the world's largest producer of macadamias, it is also a major importer to meet domestic needs.
U.S. wine exports (including cider, fermented beverages, and must) reached $320 million in 1996, the twelfth consecutive record-breaking year, and a 36-percent gain over the preceding year. Grape wine represented most of the $320 million in wine exports, except for $18 million in fermented beverages and cider. U.S. wines registered impressive value gains in Germany (up 275 percent); the United Kingdom (up 37 percent); and Canada (up 34 percent)--all markets targeted under the Market Access Program (MAP). Notable new markets are emerging in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. More varieties of higher-quality U.S. wine, robust foreign demand, favorable exchange rates, and MAP efforts combined to boost U.S. wine exports.
Production of concentrated apple juice (CAJ) in selected countries in 1996/97 is forecast at 660,000 tons (70/71 degrees brix), 8 percent above the previous season's output. Poland is expected to account for most of the increase in production. Production in the United States, the world's largest CAJ producer and consumer, is forecast to decrease 5 percent in 1996/97. Selected country CAJ exports are forecast to increase 9 percent to 550,000 tons in 1996/97.
The U.S. dried fruit industry has been expanding exports in recent years, reaching a record $403 million in 1996, up from $279 million in 1989. Raisin exports accounted for 52 percent of the increase in total dried fruit export value in 1996. Prunes, the second-largest export item, grew to $139 million in 1996, compared to $101 million in 1989.
After falling sharply in 1995 in the wake of the December 1994 peso devaluation, U.S. horticultural exports to Mexico increased 19 percent to $402.5 million in 1996. Although U.S. horticultural exports still have considerable ground to make up before they recover to the level reached before the peso devaluation, 1996 marked the second-best year on record for U.S. horticultural exports to Mexico.
Brazil's total orange juice production estimate for 1996 (Brazilian marketing year 1996/97) is increased 88,000 tons to 1.14 million tons (65 degrees brix). The higher estimate is based on increased orange production and processing estimates for the Sao Paulo commercial orange area. The 1996/97 (July/June) total Brazil orange juice export forecast is revised from 1.05 million to 1.095 million tons based on higher exports to date than earlier expected.