Department of Agriculture
Trade and U.S. Export Opportunities
Total U.S. horticultural product exports for Fiscal Year 1998 to date (October 1997 to May 1998) were valued at $6.96 billion, $103.3 million or 1.5 percent below last season's shipments during the same period. Sharply reduced almond, walnut, apple, grapefruit, cherry, and essential oil sales more than offset higher wine, fresh grape, pistachio and potato chip exports. Almond exports to all destinations to date were down $78.7 million, or 13 percent below the same period a year ago. Walnut exports to date were down $34.1 million, or 21 percent. The European Union accounted for most of the decrease in U.S. tree nut exports, due primarily to lower per unit export prices resulting from larger world supplies. Total U.S. essential oil exports were down $78.3 million, or 18 percent, with Japan accounting for all the reduction in sales. Fresh apple exports were down $60.8 million or 20 percent, as the financial crisis in Asia and a prohibitive countervailing duty imposed by Mexico (from September 1997 to March 1998) sharply reduced exports. Total grapefruit exports to date were down $46.2 million, or 21 percent, with Japan accounting for most of the decrease. Cherry exports to date were down $32.5 million, or 58 percent, based primarily on lower sales to Japan. On the other hand, U.S. wine exports were up $88.3 million, or 37 percent, based on strong sales to the European Union and Japan. Potato chip exports were running at a strong pace, up $43.1 million or 42 percent. Fresh grape exports were running at a record pace, up $30.6 million, or 23 percent, with Hong Kong and Mexico accounting for larger sales. Pistachio sales continued their record pace, with sales up $34.1 million or more than 200 percent, based on strong sales to Europe.
Approved by the World Agricultural Outlook Board/USDA