Imports account for large shares of U.S. consumption of some fruits

A chart showing the imports' share of U.S. consumption for selected fruits, year 2011.

While the United States is one of the largest world producers of fruits and nuts, imports accounted for about 38 percent of the volume of U.S. consumption of fresh, processed, and frozen fruits and tree nuts in 2011. Imports account for important shares of U.S. consumption when products—primarily tropical products—cannot be produced in sufficient quantities domestically, or when imports can complement the seasonality of U.S. production. Bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and limes are examples of major tropical product imports, while grapes, plums, and blueberries are examples of important seasonal imports. Still other imports, such as clementines and raspberries, compete directly with U.S. products. Over the past decade, U.S. edible fruit and nut imports rose dramatically in value due to the growing demand for offseason fruit, an expanding ethnic population, and the interest of consumers in sampling new temperate and tropical fruits. Mexico and Chile dominate U.S. fruit imports, with a combined share of about 40 percent of the U.S. import value in 2011. This chart is updated from one that appears in Fruit and Tree Nut Outlook, December 2012.

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