World Horticultural Trade and U.S. Export Opportunities
U.S. Horticultural Exports Down 2 Percent So Far in FY 1998
WASHINGTON, May 1, 1998--U.S. exports of horticultural products to all countries in February totaled $741.8 million, down 8 percent from the same month a year earlier. Ten out of 15 categories registered decreases. Categories with the most significant decreases in February were miscellaneous products (down $28.2 million or 13 percent); fresh citrus (down $27.5 million or 29 percent); fresh non-citrus fruit (down $12.7 million or 24 percent); and tree nuts (down $8.7 million or 10 percent). The categories with the most significant increases were wine (up $14.3 million or 50 percent) and fresh vegetables (up $5.6 million or 7 percent). For fiscal year (FY) 1998 to date (October-February), the total value of U.S. horticultural exports was $4.3 billion--2 percent below FY 1997 during the same period.
From October 1997 to February 1998, 4 of the top 10 U.S. markets showed increases. Countries registering increases included Mexico (up 16 percent); Israel (up 11 percent); Canada (up 10 percent); and Australia (up 2 percent). Top 10 markets showing decreases include South Korea (down 40 percent); the Philippines (down 21 percent), Japan (down 14 percent); Taiwan (down 6 percent); Hong Kong (down 3 percent); and the European Union (down 3 percent).
Production of concentrated apple juice (CAJ) in selected countries in 1997/98 is forecast at about 660,000 tons (70/71 degrees brix), practically unchanged from the previous seasons output. On the other hand, production in the United States, the worlds largest CAJ producer, is forecast at 150,000 tons, 12 percent above the 1996/97 output. Increased apple crops in some major processing states, such as Michigan, California, and New York, will likely boost overall U.S. apple juice production in 1997/98. Selected country CAJ exports in 1997/98 are forecast at about 555,000 tons, 3 percent above last seasons shipments. Germany and Argentina are expected to account for most of the increase in exports. U.S. CAJ imports in 1997/98 are forecast to decrease 14 percent to 185,000 tons. Increased U.S. CAJ production and flattening domestic demand have reduced U.S. CAJ import prospects in 1997/98.
The 1997/98 canned fruit pack in selected countries is estimated at 1.44 million metric tons, 12 percent below the previous seasons output. Selected country canned fruit exports in 1997/98 are forecast to decrease 22 percent to about 740,000 tons. All types of canned fruit exports are expected to decrease in 1997/98. Unfavorable weather in the worlds three largest exporting countries, Greece, South Africa, and Italy, has affected fruit quality and reduced exportable supplies. Stocks are expected to be drawn down sharply in Greece, as that country tries to maintain market share. Larger production in Spain and the United States should help boost exports from these countries. U.S. canned fruit exports to date (June-January) in 1997/98 have totaled 12,122 tons, 24 percent ahead of last years shipments during the same period.
Selected foreign country fresh strawberry exports in 1997/98 are forecast at a record 303,163 tons, 3 percent above the previous seasons shipments. Expanded shipments by Spain, the worlds largest fresh strawberry exporter, will likely more than offset lower exports by Poland. Although the volume of U.S. fresh strawberry exports in 1997 approximated the previous years level, the value of exports was up 7 percent to a record $94.7 million. Canada, the largest U.S. market, accounted for the increase in the U.S. export value. Selected foreign country frozen strawberry exports in 1997/98, on the other hand, are forecast to decrease 6 percent to 131,100 tons. Mexico is expected to account for the bulk of the decrease in frozen strawberry exports due to a smaller fresh strawberry harvest. The United States could surpass Mexico as the worlds second-largest frozen strawberry exporter in 1997/98, depending on the size of the U.S. domestic fresh strawberry harvest.
The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service has informed USDAs Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that it will permit access for sweet cherries produced in 12 California counties, subject to the application of a mandatory methyl bromide fumigation treatment. The counties covered by the action are Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and Tulare.