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U.S. imports of Mexican organics up 72% in 2017


According to Sustainable Food News

The U.S. organic products trade deficit for the first six months of 2017 was $756.3 million as organic exports, valued at $277.7 million, were dwarfed by the value of organic imports, which came in at $1.03 billion, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade statistics released Friday.

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The value of organic imports during Jan.-June was up 22 percent compared to the same period in 2016, the trade data showed, while the value of organic exports during the first six months was up 26 percent.

The 2016 trade deficit U.S. organic products trade deficit hit nearly $1.2 billion in 2016, its highest level ever, as the $547.6 million worth of U.S. organic exports were dwarfed by the value of U.S. organic imports, which reached $1.7 billion. Check out the top 10 U.S. organic imported and exported commodities for 2016.

Top U.S. organic import trading partners

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Mexico was the leading exporter of organic commodities to the U.S. market in the first six months of 2017, shipping in $133.8 million worth of product, a 72 percent increase over the same period last year.

Mexico's main organic export in 2017 is organic avocados, valued at $55.8 million, up 181 percent over the first six months of 2016. Organic bananas worth $20 million, a 153 percent increase over last year, was Mexico's second largest commodity, followed by organic Arabica coffee, which was worth $19.4 million, up 6 percent.

Turkey was the second largest exporter of organic commodities to the United States, shipping over $131.4 million worth of product, up 9 percent. Turkey's two largest organic commodities shipped to the U.S. market were animal feed products: organic corn, valued at $63.9 million, down 7 percent, and organic soybeans, which were valued at $61.9 million, a 20 percent increase over the first six months of 2016.

Organic Ag Products

Spain was the third largest exporter of organic commodities, shipping over $83.8 million worth of product, an 84 percent increase. Nearly three-quarters of Spain's total exports for the six-month period was $60.8 million worth of organic olive oil, soaring 638 percent over last year's total.

Meanwhile, Brazil was the fourth largest, exporter of organics, shipping over $71 million of mostly organic honey, nearly as much as its total organic exports in 2016.

Top 10 organic imports led by Arabica coffee

Ocean Mist

The top 10 U.S. organic commodity imports (by value) for Jan.-June 2017 include:

  • Organic Arabica coffee: $134 million, up 13 percent
  • Organic soybeans (except seed): $132.8 million, up 3 percent
  • Organic bananas: $116.8 million, up 13 percent
  • Organic extra virgin olive oil (>18kg): $95.5 million, up 261 percent
  • Organic corn: $90.2 million, down 9 percent
  • Organic honey: $78.8 million, up 118 percent
  • Organic extra virgin olive oil (<18kg): $60.8 million, up 7 percent
  • Organic Hass avocado: $57.1 million, up 182 percent
  • Organic apples: $44.8 million, up 20 percent
  • Organic cultivated blueberries: $20.3 million, up 87 percent

Fresh apples, lettuce lead top 10 U.S. organic exports

The largest U.S. export markets were Canada, valued at $135.5, up 4 percent, and Mexico, valued at $70.5 million, up 17 percent.

The top 10 U.S. organic commodity exports (by value) for Jan.-June 2017 include:

  • Organic fresh apples: $62.3 million, up 39 percent
  • Organic lettuce: $31.4 million, up 11 percent
  • Organic spinach: $19.7 million, up 1 percent
  • Organic carrots: $19.2 million, up 20 percent
  • Organic fresh strawberries: $19 million, up 6 percent
  • Organic tomato sauce (excl. ketchup): $14.3 million, up 28 percent
  • Organic oranges: $11.4 million, up 12 percent
  • Organic fresh pears: $9.6 million, down 2 percent
  • Organic coffee roasted (excl. decaf): $9.2 million, down 19 percent
  • Organic fresh berries: $9 million, up 31 percent

Notably, exports of organic grapes were valued at $5.8 million for the Jan.-June period, a 207 percent jump over the same period last year. 

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