Nov 20, 2017
U.S. fruit exports total $6.3 billion

U.S. agricultural exports totaled $140.5 billion in fiscal year 2017, climbing nearly $10.9 billion from the previous year to the third-highest level on record.

As it has done for well over 50 years, the U.S. agricultural sector once again posted an annual trade surplus, which reached $21.3 billion, up almost 30 percent from last year’s $16.6 billion.

“U.S. agriculture depends on trade. It is great to see an increase in exports and we hope to open additional markets to build on this success,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “I’m a grow-it-and-sell-it kind of guy. If American agricultural producers keep growing it, USDA will keep helping to sell it around the world.”

Here are some highlights from the USDA data:

  • Fresh fruit exports in 2017 totaled $4.7 billion, up 4 percent from the previous year but down from a 2014 peak of $5 billion. Leading export markets besides North America were East Asia, China and Hong Kong, and Japan.
  • Processed fruit exports in 2017 totaled $1.6 billion, down 1.3 percent from the previous year, and more substantially down from a 2014 peak of $1.7 billion. Leading export markets besides North America were East Asia, the European Union, China and Hong Kong, and Japan.
  • Exports of fruit and vegetable juices dropped nearly ten percent in the last year, as leading export markets North America and East Asia imported much less juice. Total juice exports were $1 billion, having fallen from $1.4 billion in 2011. The third-highest export market, the European Union saw an increase of 4.3 percent, and the fourth-highest export market, Japan, also saw a small increase.

China finished the fiscal year as the United States’ largest export customer, with shipments valued at $22 billion, followed closely by Canada at $20.4 billion. U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico reached $18.6 billion, a six-percent gain from last year, while exports to Japan grew 12 percent, to $11.8 billion. Rounding out the top 10 markets were the European Union ($11.6 billion), South Korea ($6.9 billion), Hong Kong ($4 billion), Taiwan ($3.4 billion), Indonesia ($3 billion) and the Philippines ($2.6 billion).

Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, also driving rural economic activity and supporting more than one million American jobs both on and off the farm. USDA continues to work to boost export opportunities for U.S. agricultural products by opening new markets, pursuing new trade agreements, enforcing existing agreements, and breaking down barriers to trade.

Complete FY 2017 (Oct. 2016-Sept. 2017) agricultural export data are available from the  Global Agricultural Trade System database.

Above: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue attends the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) groundbreaking ceremony at the U.S. National Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, on Friday, November 3, 2017. USDA photo by Monica Williams

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