Strawberry Trade Situation in Selected Countries
|Improved weather and strong international demand boost selected countries fresh strawberry exports in 1998/99 by nearly 10 percent, to 400,146 tons. With the exception of Italy, the remaining selected countries registered increases. U.S. fresh strawberry exports in 1998/99 are expected to grow by 7 percent from the previous season to 53,000 tons. Canada, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom were the most important markets for U.S. exports of fresh strawberries during this period. Selected country frozen strawberry exports for 1998/99 are estimated to rise by 13 percent. U.S. exports of frozen strawberries for this period are forecast at a record 30,100 tons, up 11 percent from the year earlier. Key markets included Japan, Canada and Australia.|
Strawberry production in 1998/99 (harvest March-August 1999) is forecast at 30,000 tons, up 10 percent from the revised 1997/98 harvest. This brings production back to a more-normal level after 3 years of poor crops due to adverse weather conditions. Ontario and Quebec provinces account for approximately 70 percent of total production.
Canada imports almost all of its fresh strawberries from the United States. Total imports in 1998/99 are forecast at 38,500 tons, unchanged from the revised 1997/98 imports. Demand for fresh strawberries appears to have been adversely impacted by the declining purchasing power of the Canadian dollar.
Under NAFTA, fresh strawberries from the United States and Mexico enter Canada duty free. The Canada/Chile Free Trade Agreement provides free access for fresh strawberries from Chile. Canada chose not to apply seasonal tariffs on fresh strawberries from any origin in 1998.
Production of frozen strawberries in 1998/99 is estimated at 2,100 tons, an increase of 5 percent above the previous year. In Canada, the utilization of strawberries for processing have remained steady following a decline of 36 percent from 1995/96 to 1996/97. The 30-percent decline in frozen strawberry production since 1995/96 has been more than offset by a 44-percent increase in imports of frozen strawberries, mostly from the United States. Imports of frozen strawberries are projected at 15,000 tons in 1998/99, up 6 percent from the previous year. Canadas imports of frozen strawberries in 1998/99 from the United States reached 8,570 tons, up 57 percent from the previous year. This increase reflects rising demand among Canadas foodservice and manufacturing industry, declining production and a decline in imports from Mexico, Canadas second largest supplier of frozen strawberries.
Under NAFTA, all import duties on frozen strawberries from the United States were reduced to zero. Frozen strawberries from Mexico and Chile have a import duty of 2.6 Canadian cents/kg and 3.5 Canadian cents/kg, respectively. Tariffs on frozen strawberries from Mexico and Chile will be phased out by 2002.
Strawberry production in 1998/99 is forecast at 110,000 tons, up 29 percent from the revised 1997/98 harvest. The increase in strawberry production is due to an expected normalization in weather conditions following 2 years of adverse weather.
Over 90 percent of the strawberries produced in Mexico are grown in the states of Michoacan, Guanajuato and Baja California. The harvest season for Michoacan and Guanajuato is November-June, with peak harvest for Michoacan from November to February, and a peak harvest for Guanajuato from February to April. The harvest season for Baja California is January-June, with the peak harvest in March-April.
Mexicos fresh strawberry exports in 1998/99 are forecast at 30,000 tons, up 9 percent from the revised 1997/98 level, due mainly to stronger international demand for fresh strawberries. The United States continues to be Mexicos major export market for fresh strawberries.
Imports of strawberries are forecast at 4,000 tons for marketing year 1998/99 and are not expected to increase over the previous year, due to weak consumer purchasing power and the devalued Mexican peso. Imported strawberries are almost exclusively from the United States.
Mexicos frozen strawberry production for marketing year 1998/99 is forecast at 48,000 tons, up 33 percent from the previous year, due to improved weather conditions during the winter of 1998/99. This will bring production back to more normal levels after El Niņo-induced frosts damaged the 1997/98 strawberry crop.
Frozen strawberry exports for MY 1998/99 are forecast at 37,500 tons, 21 percent higher than the previous year, due mostly to good international prices and improved quality. Frozen strawberry imports for MY 1998/99 are forecast at 200 tons, less than one half the previous years level due to increased domestic production and weak consumer purchasing power. There are no promotional campaigns for frozen strawberries in Mexico.
Under NAFTA, the 1998 import tariff on frozen strawberries from NAFTA members is 5.6 percent. Imports from non-NAFTA countries are charged a 20-percent duty. There are currently no import licensing requirements for frozen strawberries. The tariff classification is 08.11.10.01.
Strawberry production in 1998/99 (primary harvest is May through July 1999) is estimated at 175,000 tons, up 17 percent from 1997/98 and could reach 200,000 tons by 2000. This increase is primarily due to a 9-percent increase in the area under strawberry cultivation.
Exports of strawberries from Poland in 1998/99 are estimated at 17,000 tons, up 11 percent from the previous season. The European Union, particularly Germany and Austria, account for almost all of Polands fresh strawberry exports.
During the off season, limited quantities of fresh strawberries are imported by air from Spain and Italy. Prices as high as two or three times that of Polish strawberries during harvest season, limit the sales potential of imported strawberries.
On average, 60 to 70 percent of strawberry production is utilized by the processing industry annually. In 1998/99, processing utilization is forecast at 115,000 tons, up 21 percent from last year. Decreased production of fresh strawberries during 1997/98 resulted in a subsequent 8-percent decrease in fruit processing. In addition, during the 1997/98 season, some of the fresh product delivered to processors was unsuitable for freezing due to high moisture content caused by rains at the end of June.
Exports of frozen strawberries are forecast to grow 14 percent to 91,000 tons in 1998/99. Poland continues to be the major supplier of frozen strawberries to the EU. Important markets include, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Denmark and France.
Production of fresh strawberries in 1998/99 is estimated at 198,000 tons, unchanged from the revised 1997/98 level. Almost all of Japans strawberries are produced in hot houses, with production from November through June. Peak harvesting occurs from January through April.
Imports of fresh strawberries for 1998/99 are estimated at 5, 000 tons, which account for only 3 percent of total domestic consumption. The United States is the largest supplier of fresh strawberries to the Japanese market, with a 94-percent market share. However in 1997/98, imports from the Republic of Korea and New Zealand increased by 110 percent and 46 percent, respectively, above the previous year.
The current import duty on fresh strawberries for HS code 0810.10.000 is 7.3 percent, CIF basis.
Japans production of frozen strawberries is very small, accounting for roughly 2 percent of total frozen strawberry consumption. Japan does not grow strawberry varieties for processing, rather off-grade fresh strawberries are destined for the processing sector.
Frozen strawberry consumption declined approximately 10 percent in 1997/98 due to diversification by Japanese food processors toward other berry items. The majority of frozen strawberries are purchased by food processors in Japan, with little distribution in retail packs. Nearly 80 percent of frozen strawberries are consumed for production of strawberry jams.
The import duty on frozen strawberries with added sugar (HS code: 0811.10.100) is 11.7 percent, CIF basis; while the tariff for frozen strawberries without added sugar (HS code: 0811.10.200) is 14.7 percent, CIF basis.
The California Strawberry Commission has been promoting frozen strawberries in the food service sector (including hotels, restaurants, bars and snack bars), and particularly, in Japans fast growing fast food chains and family restaurant chains.
Strawberry production is expected to continue growing in 1998/99 (harvested mainly February to July 1999), reaching a record 340,000 tons, 7 percent above the earlier season. The growth in production in 1998/99 reflected the good growing conditions that prevailed during March-June 1998 in Spains main strawberry-producing region as well as an increase in production area.
Exports of fresh strawberries are anticipated to grow by 13 percent in 1998/99, reaching 250,000 tons, as a result of improved crop quality and strong international demand. Spain is the worlds largest exporter of fresh strawberries. The bulk of Spains strawberry exports go to traditional markets in the EU, mainly, Germany, France and Italy. Fresh strawberries are also exported to Switzerland. Spains strawberry imports are insignificant, and few opportunities exist for U.S. fresh strawberry exporters.
Spains strawberry production is mostly geared towards the fresh and export markets, rather than for processing. Frozen production in 1998/99 is forecast at 38,000 tons, down 10 percent from 1997/98 due to an increase in international demand for fresh strawberries.
Consumption of frozen strawberries is expected to decline by 45 percent in 1998/99, to 11,000 tons as a result of the strong demand for fresh strawberries in export markets. Most of the frozen strawberries produced in Spain are exported or used by the baking or confectionary industry.
Frozen strawberry exports in 1998/99 are forecast at 30,000 tons, up 11 percent from the previous year due mostly to higher international demand. The bulk of Spanish frozen strawberry exports take place during the months of May through July, with smaller amounts exported until the Fall. The destination of most of these exports were other EU countries.
Strawberry production in 1998/99 is estimated at 125,000 tons, down 4 percent from 1997/98. Production has been declining since 1990, mainly as a result of an increase in labor costs and adverse weather conditions which have decreased average yields. In the Emilia Romagna region, where average yields are much lower than in the south, many farmers are switching to more profitable crops.
In 1998/99, exports of fresh strawberries are estimated at 50,000 tons, down 4 percent from the previous year, due to strong competition from Spain in the major European markets. The most important markets for Italian strawberries is Germany, which imported almost two thirds of the total Italian fresh exports, followed by Austria, Switzerland, and other northern European countries.
Imports, mainly from Spain, rose further in 1998/99 to 18,000 tons, after the significant drop in 1995/96, as a result of the delayed harvest in the south of the early producing varieties. Market opportunities for U.S. strawberries continue to be negligible, hampered by strong competition from Spain during Italys off season. Italian trade in frozen strawberries remains marginal.
Strawberry production in 1998/99 (harvested October 1998 through May 1999) is forecast at 15,900 tons, up 16 percent from the previous year. The use of improved technology, good weather and a small increase in planting area are the major factors behind the increase in production.
Exports of fresh and frozen strawberries are expected to increase significantly in 1998/99, reflecting the substantial increase in the quality of this years production. Chilean mainly exports strawberries to neighboring Latin American countries, although Chile also exports frozen strawberries to Japan and the European Union. Export prospects to the United States generally depend upon the outlook for Mexican production.
Although exports are important for strawberry producers, Chiles output is mostly destined for the domestic market. Over 50 percent of total strawberry production is consumed fresh.
Strawberry production in the United States in 1998/99 is estimated 785,000 tons, up 3 percent from 1997/98, due mainly to favorable weather conditions, good yields, and better quality berries. According to the California Strawberry Commission, planted acreage will be slightly higher in 1998/99 in California (harvested February through December 1999), where strawberry production averages 83 percent of the total U.S. crop.
Approximately 220,000 tons of strawberries are expected to be processed in 1998/99, down 7 percent from the previous year. Production utilized for the fresh market increased 3 percent from the previous year.
Exports of fresh strawberries are expected to increase in 1998/99 by 7 percent to 53,000 tons. The value of U.S. fresh strawberry exports from January to May 1999 is $43 million, 22 percent higher than the same period in 1998. Fresh strawberry exports in calendar year 1998 were valued at $91.6 million, down 5 percent from the previous year. U.S. exports in 1997/98 of fresh strawberries to Canada, fell 8 percent in volume, although the value remained steady at $57 million. Exports to Mexico, the third largest export market for U.S. fresh strawberries, rose by 113 percent to 3,518 tons in 1997/98.
Improved weather conditions and good quality berries boosted U.S. exports of frozen strawberries in 1997/98 and 1998/99. In 1998/99 total exports of frozen strawberries are forecast at 30,100 tons, up 11 percent from the previous season. Exports of frozen strawberries grew by 26 percent in 1997/98 to 27,013 tons. Exports to the three largest markets for U.S. frozen strawberries, Japan, Canada, and Australia, rose dramatically in 1997/98. Exports to Japan gained ground after the 8-percent decrease in 1996/97, to rise by 11 percent in 1997/98. Exports to Canada rose dramatically with a 56-percent growth. And U.S. exports to Australia have returned to the levels recorded in the early 1990's.
The California Strawberry Commission (CSC) has participated in the Market Access Program (MAP) since 1990. This program has been instrumental in expanding markets in Japan, Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In Japan, for example, frozen strawberries are traditionally sold to jam, ice cream, and yogurt manufacturers, but the CSC has also encouraged the use of U.S. frozen strawberries in restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food service sectors, with the introduction of new beverage and dessert products. In all overseas markets, retail promotions for fresh strawberries focus on the availability of California strawberries during the off seasons of Japans, Mexicos, Canadas, and U.K.s strawberry production. Promotional activities for fresh California strawberries include in-store sampling and promotions and point of sale materials to educate consumers of the quality and healthfulness of fresh strawberries.
Table 1: Fresh Strawberries: Production, Supply & Distribution, Selected Countries
Table 2: Frozen Strawberries: Production, Supply & Distribution, Selected Countries
(For information on production and trade, contact Karina Ramos at 202-720-6877. For information on marketing contact Steve Schnitzler at 202-720-8495.)