USDA versus Global Trade Data: How US Importers Can Get Ahead of the Game

By Agronometrics | 16 May 2024

Since July 2023, Agronometrics has been offering its Global Trade Data service, providing industry stakeholders with the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and accessible blueberry volume, price, and value data available from almost every country in the world.

Many of our customers have been utilizing the Agronometrics platform for almost a decade to visualize USDA data. As we introduced our new service, both historical and new customers who are exclusively focused on the US market, such as US importers, may wonder about the added value of the GTD platform compared to the USDA data available on our original platform. After all, isn’t USDA data reliable enough for anything related to fresh produce entering the US market?

While our USDA platform offers invaluable insights, as demonstrated by our customers’ adoption over the years, the GTD platform provides an entirely new set of information that can help US importers stay ahead of the game.

One of the great advantages of our Global Trade Data platform (GTD) is that you can anticipate the volume of blueberries expected to arrive in the US market. A prime example is how reported exports from Peru can help forecast the evolution of the market in the US 4 to 5 weeks in advance.

The general import curve aligns with the Peruvian export curve, accounting for the duration the fruit spends in transit (4 to 5 weeks). To better understand, let’s look at the data from 2023.

By examining USDA data from last year, we observe that the peak export of blueberries from Peru to the US occurred in week 48, with 5,007 MT reported.

Here is a chart from our USDA platform displaying Peruvian blueberry imports in the US market:

US Import 1
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When we examine the fruit exported from Perú to the US on our Global Trade Data platform, we observe that the peak occurred in Week 43, with 7,258 MT reported. This corresponds with the peak in week 48, which is 5 weeks later, as reported by the USDA.

Here is a chart from our GTD platform displaying blueberry export to the US market, reported by Perú:

Fresh Export Volumes From Peru to the US Market | Cultivated All

Peru Export 2
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Our CEO, Colin Fain, was actually able to predict on Week 43 that Peruvian imports into the US would peak on week 48, as demonstrated in this video (starting from 4:50)

Forecasting import trends a month in advance can be a game changer for any company working on the US market. But keep reading, there is more!

Our GTD platform provides comprehensive price data, encompassing both spot market prices and program prices (pre-contracted prices set up before shipping, which may be adjusted upon arrival at the customer). This difference underscores one of the other key advantages of utilizing our Global Trade Data platform. Where the USDA only provides spot pricing, GTD allows for a more comprehensive comparison offering pricing for the market as a whole, and providing a better understanding of how the market is evolving and the underlying trends.

But that’s not all! There is also a strong relationship within the data itself between pricing and volume. By anticipating a higher volume entering the US market, you can potentially forecast a lower price, always considering all the main countries that begin shipping fruit to the US at the same time. For instance, prices typically do not decline after the Peruvian season concludes (the main exporter to the US market), as Chile and Mexico start shipping more fruit to the US, as illustrated in the two charts below:

US Fresh Import Volume by Partner | Cultivated All

chart 19 1
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US Fresh Import Price by Partner | Cultivated All

chart 20
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Written by Thomas

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