World Horticultural Trade and U.S. Export Opportunities
November 1998 Issue
U.S. Horticultural Exports for August Slipped 4 Percent From Previous Year
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 1998--U.S. exports of horticultural products to all countries in August totaled $810 million, down 4 percent from the same month a year earlier. Nine out of 15 categories registered decreases. Categories with the most significant decreases in August were fresh noncitrus fruit (down $38.0 million or 24 percent), miscellaneous products (down $14.4 million or 7 percent), and fresh vegetables (down $11.5 million or 16 percent). The categories with the most significant increases were tree nuts (up $24.7 million or 29 percent) and wine (up $9.4 million or 26 percent). For fiscal year (FY) 1998 to date (October-August), the total value of U.S. horticultural exports was $9.5 billion--1 percent below FY 1997 during the same time period.
Total apple production in selected Northern Hemisphere countries in 1998/99 is forecast at 41.5 million metric tons, up 4 percent from the previous years output. Larger apple crops are expected in some major producing Northern Hemisphere countries, such as China and the United States. On the other hand, Northern Hemisphere apple exports in 1998/99 are forecast at 2.9 million tons, down 7 percent from the previous seasons shipments. The economic problems facing Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia will likely slow down Northern Hemisphere apple trade in 1998/99, particularly exports from the United States and the European Union. U.S. apple exports in 1998/99 are forecast to decrease to 550,000 tons, the smallest volume since 1992/93.
Table grape exports from selected Northern Hemisphere countries in 1998 are forecast at 1.15 million metric tons, 3 percent above 1997 shipments. Higher exports from most countries, especially Italy, will likely offset lower exports from the United States and Spain. U.S. exports are forecast to decrease 20 percent to 215,000 tons in 1998, based on an expected smaller harvest and lower than expected exports to date. U.S. table grape exports have also been unfavorably impacted by the economic situation in some Asian countries.
Almond production in selected countries in 1998/99 is forecast to decrease 29 percent to 329,040 metric tons, based on substantially smaller crops in the United States and Spain, the worlds two largest producing countries. Selected country exports in 1998/99 are forecast to decrease by 14 percent to 214,082 tons. U.S. almond exports in 1998/99 are forecast at about 190,000 tons, 7 percent below the previous seasons shipments.
Walnut production in selected countries in 1998/99 is forecast at 607,430 metric tons (in-shell basis), 5 percent below the previous years output. The United States is expected to account for most of the decrease in world walnut output. Selected country walnut exports in 1998/99 are forecast to decrease 4 percent to 184,650 tons. China, the worlds largest walnut exporter, is expected to account for nearly all of the expected decrease in world exports due to strong domestic demand. U.S. walnut exports in 1998/99 are expected to approximate the previous years shipments.
Revised aggregate world production and exports of canned fruit for 1997/98 are both estimated to be down 11 percent from the previous season. World production in 1997/98 was down for all canned fruit due to unfavorable weather conditions in Europe. The outlook for the Northern Hemisphere in 1998/99 is for production to increase by 7 percent and exports by 3 percent. Nevertheless, Northern Hemisphere canned peach production in 1998/99 is down from the high levels achieved in previous years, due to poor spring weather conditions. Large U.S. canned peach stocks are expected to more than offset a decrease in U.S. production in 1998/99.
U.S. horticultural exports to Mexico are poised to set a record in FY 1998, surpassing the record reached in FY 1994, just before the December 1994 peso devaluation. Through the first 11 months of FY 1998, the value of total U.S. horticultural exports to Mexico was running 17 percent ahead of the same period in FY 1997. Mexico is the fifth largest U.S. horticultural market. Booming exports to our two NAFTA partners (Canada is the Number One market) are offsetting lower exports to Japan and other Asian countries, keeping FY 1998 U.S. horticultural exports within striking distance of their FY 1997 record total to all destinations.