February 7, 2017
The 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, according to trade statistics by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday.
The value of U.S. exports of organic products in 2016 was up one-half percent, but showed a 1 percent decrease compared to the all-time high of $553.1 million in organic exports reported in 2014.
The top 10 U.S. organic exports in 2016 included:
- Organic Apples Fresh - 82.8 million, down 13 percent
- Organic Grapes Fresh - 65.8 million, up 15 percent
- Organic Lettuce (Not Head Fr/Ch) - 56.4 million, no change
- Organic Strawberries Fresh - 42.4 million, up 19 percent
- Organic Spinach (Fr/Ch) - $38.6 million, no change
- Organic Carrots (Fr/Ch) - $30.7 million, up 19 percent
- Organic Tomato Sauce Ex Ketchp - $22.4 million, up 9 percent
- Organic Coffee Roast Not Decaf - $22 million, down 9 percent
- Organic Cauliflower (Fr/Ch) - $21.5 million, up 2 percent
- Organic Pears Fresh - $18.4 million, up 1 percent
The $1.7 billion worth of U.S. organic imports in 2016 was a 4.6 percent increase compared to 2015.
The top 10 U.S. organic imports included:
- Organic Soybeans (Except Seed) - $250.5 million, up 4 percent
- Organic Coffee Arabica Nr Nd - $240.9 million, down 12 percent
- Organic Bananas - $209.9 million, up 6 percent
- Organic Yellow Dent Corn (Except Seed) - $160.4 million, up 42 percent
- Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, <18Kg - $115.8 million, down 1 percent
- Organic Honey - $73.6 million, up 55 percent
- Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, >=18Kg - $72.7 million, down 6 percent
- Organic Avocado-Hslike Fr/Dr - $72.7 million, up 61 percent
- Organic Apples Fr >22Cents/Kg - $63.7 million, down 6 percent
- Organic Almonds, Shelled - $40 million, down 32 percent
Editor's note: Since Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes do not track many organic products, the actual value of organic trade is probably higher. Plus, the totals represent the sum of all available organic codes in a given year. When comparing this statistic between years, the total can be affected by codes that have been added or subtracted.