USDA – Product imports up 22% in 2017




by Sustainable Food News 

December 5, 2017

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The U.S. organic products trade deficit for the Jan.-Oct. 2017 period was over $1.2 billion, with organic imports reaching $1.7 billion, while exports came in at $478.8 million, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade statistics released Tuesday.

The value of organic imports during Jan.-Oct. was up 22 percent compared to the same period in 2016, the trade data showed, while the value of organic exports during the first 10 months was up 6 percent.

Last year, the U.S. organic products trade deficit hit nearly $1.2 billion, its highest level ever, with U.S. organic imports reaching $1.7 billion, while U.S. organic exports came in at $547.6 million. Check out the Top 10 U.S. organic imported and exported commodities for 2016.

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U.S. organic imports from Mexico up 66%

Mexico was the leading exporter of organic commodities to the U.S. market in the first 10 months of 2017, shipping in $232 million worth of product, a 60 percent increase over the same period last year.

Mexico's main organic export in 2017 is organic avocados, valued at $107 million, up 102 percent over the first 10 months of 2016. Organic bananas worth $36.5 million, a 116 percent increase over last year, was Mexico's second largest commodity, closely followed by organic Arabica coffee, which was worth $29.1 million, down 2 percent.

Organic Produce Network (OPN)
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Turkey was the second largest exporter of organic commodities to the United States, shipping over $172 million worth of product, down 15 percent.

Turkey's two largest organic commodities shipped to the U.S. market were animal feed products: organic corn, valued at $79.5 million, down 25 percent, and organic soybeans, which were valued at $84.2 million, a 12 percent decrease over the first 10 months of 2016.

Brazil was the third largest exporter of organic commodities, shipping over $128.6 million worth of product, a 79 percent increase. Nearly two thirds of Brazil's exports were organic honey, valued at $87.1 million, an 80 percent increase. Brazil's organic sugar imports to the U.S. market were valued at $25.6 million, an increase of 108 percent.

Organic honey imports up 94%

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

  • Organic Arabica coffee: $233.5 million, up 15 percent
  • Organic soybeans (except seed): $229.5 million, up 6 percent
  • Organic bananas: $196.1 million, up 13 percent
  • Organic extra virgin olive oil (>18kg): $131.2 million, up 141 percent
  • Organic corn: $118 million, down 18 percent
  • Organic honey: $112.5 million, up 94 percent
  • Organic extra virgin olive oil (<18kg): $111.2 million, up 13 percent
  • Organic Hass avocado: $110.8 million, up 104 percent
  • Organic apples: $66.6, up 6 percent
  • Organic sugar: $48.4 million, up 130 percent

Organic fresh apple exports up 25%

The largest U.S. organic export markets for the Jan.-Oct. 2017 period were Canada, valued at $221.8 million, up 4 percent, and Mexico, valued at $119.7 million, up 6 percent.

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

  • Organic fresh apples: $80.9 million, up 25 percent
  • Organic lettuce: $47.3 million, up 3 percent
  • Organic fresh strawberries: $39.3 million, down 3 percent
  • Organic spinach: $32 million, no change
  • Organic fresh grapes: $29.9 million, down 37 percent
  • Organic carrots: $29.5 million, up 16 percent
  • Organic tomato sauce (excl. ketchup): $23.5 million, up 25 percent
  • Organic fresh berries: $19.6 million, up 29 percent
  • Organic cauliflower: $14.8, down 19 percent
  • Organic roasted coffee: $14.3 million, down 23 percent

Notably, the value of U.S. organic milk exports in the first 10 months of 2017 reached $5.7 million, up 274 percent compared to the same period in 2016. Total U.S. organic milk exports in 2016 were valued at $3 million.

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