HORTICULTURAL TRADE TRENDS UNDER NAFTA
- Horticultural products were among the U.S.
agricultural export sectors that experienced the most
growth in the run-up to and entering into force of NAFTA;
similarly, horticultural products were among the sectors
that suffered most in the wake of the December 1994 peso
- U.S. horticultural product exports
continue to recover from the sharp dip in 1995; exports
to Mexico in 1998 reached a record $596 million, up 9%
from the previous record established in 1994.
- U.S. fresh produce exports, normally about
one third of the total, are recovering more slowly; fresh
fruit and vegetable exports were valued at $152 million
in 1998, up 4% from 1997.
- Likewise, Mexican horticultural product
exports to the United States continue to increase in
1998, which were 25% above shipments in 1997.
- While both U.S. and Mexican exports have
risen substantially, the balance of horticultural trade
between the two countries has continued to trend sharply
in Mexicos favor.
U.S. HORTICULTURAL PRODUCT EXPORTS TO
MEXICO REACHED A RECORD $596 MILLION IN CALENDAR YEAR 1998
- This chart shows that after falling
sharply in 1995, U.S. exports of horticultural products
to Mexico have registered a strong recovery; U.S. exports
of total horticultural products to Mexico reached a
record $596 million in 1998, up 20% from shipments in
1997, and 9% above the 1994 previous record level.
- The processed fruit and vegetable group
(valued at $327 million) registered the largest increase
(up more than 30%), led by dried, frozen, and canned
vegetables; tree nuts were valued at $28 million, up more
than 20%; fresh fruits and vegetables were valued at $152
million, up 4%; shipments of wine (included in the
"other horticultural" category) increased
U.S. EXPORTS OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
TO MEXICO ARE SLOWLY RECOVERING
- Fresh fruits and vegetables normally
account for about a third of total U.S. horticultural
exports to Mexico, which also include processed products,
nuts, and wine.
- This chart shows that in the three years
coinciding with the run-up to NAFTA in January 1994 --a
period during which Mexico began reducing phytosanitary
barriers and restrictive licensing-- U.S. exports of
fresh fruits and vegetables to Mexico increased sharply.
This upward trend continued through NAFTAs first
full year, 1994, reaching a record of more than $200
- After falling sharply in 1995 in the wake
of the December 1994 peso devaluation, U.S. exports of
fresh fruits and vegetables to Mexico registered a
healthy recovery in 1996, and picked up speed in 1997.
- U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable exports to
Mexico recovered slowly during 1998, mainly due to lower
apples sales, the major fruit exported to Mexico; on the
other hand, pear exports increased more than 50% in 1998
to reach a record $27 million; grape exports were valued
at $22 million, up 2%.
U.S. APPLE EXPORTS TO MEXICO
- Looking at the largest U.S. fresh produce
export to Mexico, apples, shipments rose steadily from
1991 through 1994, while import licensing was removed and
technical protocols were implemented.
- Apple shipments decreased sharply in 1995,
again due mainly to the Mexican peso devaluation and
related economic recession. Then, apple exports recovered
slightly (4%) in 1996; U.S. apple exports to Mexico in
1997 were up only slightly.
- Apple shipments in the 1998 period were
down almost 12% from 1997; U.S. shipments of Red and
Golden Delicious apples were hampered in the early part
of 1998 by Mexicos punitive 101.1 percent
- While that issue was settled in May,
exports continue to lag from previous year levels, due to
a minimum price provision that temporarily indirectly
allowed Chilean apples to grab former U.S. market share.
U.S. IMPORTS OF HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTS
FROM MEXICO CONTINUE STRONG
- This chart shows that U.S. imports of all
horticultural products from Mexico continue their steady
upward trend in 1998.
- U.S. imports of all horticultural products
from Mexico were valued at more than $3 billion in 1998,
up 25% from the same period the preceding year, boosted
by imports of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Nearly all U.S. horticultural product
imports from Mexico are fresh produce.
U.S. IMPORTS OF FRESH FRUITS & VEGETABLES
FROM MEXICO CONTINUED ITS UPWARD TREND
- Contrary to the situation for exports, the
bulk of U.S. imports of fresh produce from Mexico is
comprised of vegetables; Mexico also accounts for about
70% of total U.S. vegetable imports from all countries.
- This chart shows that in the period
leading up to NAFTA and ever since, the much larger U.S.
imports of fresh fruit and vegetables from Mexico have
increased as well.
- The Mexican peso devaluation in 1994 and
related economic recession contributed to a sharp
increase in U.S. imports from Mexico in 1995 and 1996;
imports of fresh produce from Mexico decreased 2% in
- Imports of fresh fruit and vegetables from
Mexico in 1998 increased 25% from the same period last
U.S. TOMATO IMPORTS FROM MEXICO
- Tomatoes are by far Mexicos leading
fresh horticultural product exported to the United
- The value of U.S. imports of Mexican
tomatoes increased 10% in 1998.
- On October 28, 1996, the U.S. Department
of Commerce and Mexican tomato growers signed a
Suspension Agreement, eliminating the need to implement
dumping duties. The Agreement provides that Mexican
tomato growers will not sell their tomatoes at less than
the reference price of $5.17 per 25 pound carton, or
about $0.21 per pound.
U.S. HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTS TRADE DEFICIT
WITH MEXICO CONTINUES TO EXPAND
- While both U.S. and Mexican horticultural
product exports have risen substantially, the balance of
horticultural trade between the two countries has
continued to trend in Mexicos favor, with a hefty
assist from the peso devaluation that began in December
- This chart shows that the 1997 trade
performance saw a stabilization of the U.S. deficit;
however, the trade deficit expanded sharply in 1998.
Last modified: Thursday, April 06, 2000