World Horticultural Trade and U.S. Export Opportunities
U.S. Horticultural Exports in May Totaled $922.5 Million
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 1997--U.S. exports of horticultural products to all countries in May totaled $922.5 million, up 6 percent from the same month a year earlier. Eleven out of 15 categories registered increases. Categories with the most significant increases were: fresh non-citrus fruit (up $24.2 million or 20 percent); wine (up $11.3 million or 45 percent); and canned vegetables (up $10.9 million or 19 percent). The category with the most significant decrease was tree nuts (down $24.5 million or 28 percent). During the first 8 months (October-May) of fiscal year 1997, the total value of U.S. horticultural exports was $7.1 billion--7 percent above the same period last year. Horticultural exports for total fiscal year 1997 are forecast at $10.6 billion, 5.8 percent above the previous year.
Orange juice supplies in selected countries (including 1997 production in Southern Hemisphere countries) in 1996/97 are forecast at a record 2.92 million metric tons (65 degree brix), 6 percent above the previous years level. Record orange harvests and processing in Brazil and the United States account for the record orange juice output. Selected country orange juice exports in 1996/97 are forecast at a record 1.47 million tons, 2 percent above the previous years shipments. Expanded exports from Brazil and the United States will likely more than offset reduced shipments from most other selected countries. U.S. orange juice exports in 1996/97 to date (December-May) have reached 57,813 tons, 40 percent above the previous years shipments during the same time period. U.S. exports are up because sales to Western Europe have more than doubled compared to a year ago.
Asparagus exports from selected countries in 1997 are forecast at a record 154,000 tons, up 12 percent from last year. Peru, the worlds largest producer and exporter, is expected to account for the lions share of the increase, with exports forecast at a record 97,000 tons (including fresh and processed). The United States continued to be Perus biggest customer for fresh green asparagus, with Spain, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Denmark being Perus largest processed asparagus buyers. Japan, Canada, Switzerland and other European Union countries are expected once again to be major markets for U.S. fresh asparagus sales in 1997. The United States is the worlds second largest producer of fresh and processed asparagus. U.S. exports of fresh asparagus in 1996 valued at $52 million (14,377 tons) declined 21 percent from the previous year, due mostly to reduced sales to Japan caused by health scares erroneously connected to fresh produce. According to U.S. official statistics for the first 5 months of this year, U.S. exports of fresh asparagus valued at $12.5 million are 4 percent above the same period a year earlier.
The selected Southern Hemisphere wine producing countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile and South Africa) are strategically preparing to increase their export potential by 2000/01. Argentina is investing in new technology, such as stainless steel wine casks and replacing old oak ones. Also, Argentina is trying to increase its share of bottled wine exports. Australia is expected to increase its supply of wine grapes by 46 percent between 1995/96 and 2001/2002. The vast majority of Australias increase in grape production will comprise premium exportable wine grape varieties. Australian wine exports are forecast to increase sharply to around 4.1 million hectoliters in 2001/02. Chile expects to expand wine exports to its new MERCOSUR partners, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, as duties on Chilean wine are phased out over the next 5 years. Also South Africa, no longer under economic sanctions, is aggressively marketing its wine abroad to capitalize on potential exports. Thus, the U.S. wine industry, which has experienced booming exports in recent years, will face increasing competition, both in the United States and in third country markets.
View this month's cover.