“I think Peru will surpass Chile as a fruit exporter to the United States in 2022”

From Fresh Plaza | 7 July 2022

Overview of fruits from Peru and Chile in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on July 4, 2022. 

Fruit and vegetable imports from the United States have grown significantly in the last decade, and as the USDA itself confirmed, they are expected to increase by 60% from $23 trillion in 2019 to $37 trillion in 2030 as demand continues to increase. In fact, the US demand for fruit exceeds the demand for livestock, dairy, grains, oils, or sugar.

“In the last 10 years, US fruit imports have increased by 8 to 11 million tons, i.e. 38%. Local fruit production has a limit and has not grown much since the 1990s, but the population has grown, and that’s why more imports are needed,” stated Fernando Bustamante, sourcing manager at Walmart.

Currently, Mexico is the United States market’s main supplier of fruits. In 2021, Mexican fruit exports to the US amounted to 8.8 billion dollars (with the avocado as the main protagonist). It was followed by Chile with 2 billion dollars (with citrus and blueberries standing out) and Peru with 1.8 billion (with a great boost from blueberries and grapes). According to Bustamante, this ranking could change. “I think Peru will surpass Chile as a fruit exporter to the United States in 2022,” he said.

Keys by product

Avocados: Peru exports avocados from June to August. “The county must overcome its mistakes, such as having allowed shipping fruit that only had 21.5% dry matter, which led buyers to reject it because of its bad taste. As a result, even Walmart received orders in 2019 not to buy more Peruvian avocado. Today, the avocado they buy from Peru has no less than 23% dry matter, which improved this aspect.”

avocado volumes by origi 24

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Grapes: The star product of Peru in the US market has been grapes in recent years; placements reached more than 200 million kilos last year. “Peru should expand its supply window to the US. It should increase its traditional window, which goes from November to January so that it goes from October to April to compete with Chile and Mexico because consumers value the Peruvian product very much.”

grape volumes by origin 32

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Blueberries: It is worth noting that blueberry shipments to the US already exceed 100 million kilos. “They are dispatched from July to January, but we could also try to expand the window, in this case until April, competing equally with Mexico and Chile. The Peruvian berry has an outstanding shelf life.”

blueberry volumes by ori 34

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Mandarins: “They can start shipping it in April. There is an interesting window to cover between March and May for citrus.”

Mango: “Peruvian mango faces the difficulty of heat treatment, which affects its shelf life and competitiveness.”

Organic bananas: “Peru is the world’s main organic banana exporter but it’s not very relevant in the United States, so it should look for ways to grow.”

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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