CIRCULAR SUMMARY Press Release
World Horticultural Trade and U.S. Export Opportunities
Foreign Agricultural Service
April 1998 Issue
FY 1998 U.S. Horticultural Exports Down 1 Percent from Same Period Last Year
WASHINGTON, Apr. 1, 1998--U.S. exports of horticultural products to all countries in January totaled $762 million, down 8 percent from the same month a year earlier. Seven out of 15 categories registered increases. Categories with the most significant increases in January were fresh vegetables (up $8.0 million or 9 percent); hops and products (up $5.8 million or 62 percent); nursery products (up $2.7 million or 16 percent); and wine (up $3.0 million or 12 percent). The categories with the most significant decreases were miscellaneous products (down $34.3 million or 15 percent); fruit and vegetable juices (down $15.0 million or 27 percent); fresh citrus (down $14.8 million or 18 percent); and fresh non-citrus fruit (down $12.8 million or 19.4 percent).
Total U.S. horticultural product exports for FY 1998 to date (October 1997 to January 1998) were valued at $3.58 billion, $24.2 million or 1 percent below last season=s shipments during the same period. Sharply reduced almond, apple, and essential oil sales more than offset higher fresh vegetable, fresh grape, and wine exports.
From October 1997 to January 1998, 4 of the top 10 U.S. markets showed increases. Canada registered the largest increase for the first 4 months of FY 1998 (up $96.2 million or 11 percent over the same time period a year ago), followed by Mexico (up $32.7 million or 21 percent). Fresh vegetables and miscellaneous products accounted for about two-thirds of the increase in U.S. horticultural exports to Canada. Exports to Mexico are increasing as that country continues to recover from the 1994 peso devaluation crisis. The largest decrease for the top 10 markets was for Japan (down $80.1 million or 13 percent), due to the strong U.S. dollar and weak Japanese economy. Reduced essential oil and fresh citrus exports accounted for the bulk of the decrease to Japan. Exports to the European Union (EU) were down $36.4 million or 5 percent. Sharply reduced tree nut sales to the EU account for this decrease. Exports to South Korea were down $31.8 million or 33 percent, due to the currency devaluation crisis.