Trade statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) paint an interesting picture for American fruits and vegetables. USDA data shows that between January and May of this year, imports of fresh fruits grew substantially compared to 2020. Overall imports of fresh fruit increased by 13 percent over last year, to more than $8 billion. The growth was led by imports of berries and citrus fruits, which all increased by more than 20 percent. Pineapple, mango, plum, and kiwifruit imports also saw double digit increases. According to USDA, vegetable imports also increased, but at a lower rate of four percent. Imports of cabbage grew substantially between January and May, increasing 52 percent over 2020.
At the same time, exports of fruit and vegetables also increased. U.S. exports of fresh fruits grew by seven percent over last year, to over $1.6 billion. The category was led by grapes, pears, apples, and melons, which all experienced double-digit increases over 2020. Fresh vegetable exports totaled more than $1.1 billion, marking an increase of three percent. Cucumbers, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, and cabbage showed the most growth compared to 2020 numbers. The USDA figures also indicate notable declines for some categories, with exports of grapefruit, plums, and tomatoes all falling by more than 15 percent.
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