pile of assorted varieties of vegetables

Fresh Vegetable Trade Volume Up in 2021

Jim Rogers Trade, Vegetables

Fresh vegetable trade volume was up in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. The United States remained a net importer of fresh-market vegetables in volume and value terms.

Fresh vegetable trade volume
Photo by Mark Stebnicki on Pexels.com

The value of imports increased 5% to $10.4 billion, while the value of exports increased 3% to $2.4 billion. Import value grew 81% over the past decade, while fresh exports’ value rose 24%.

The top two foreign suppliers of fresh-market vegetables to the U.S. market are Mexico and Canada. Mexico accounted for 79% of fresh vegetable import volume. Canada was responsible for 11%, followed by Peru (3%), Guatemala (1%) and China (1%).

The volume of fresh vegetable imports increased by 8% in 2021. This was reflected in increases in crops like greenhouse tomatoes (9%), onions (19%), sweet corn (21%) and leaf/romain lettuce (19%). Import volume of greenhouse tomatoes accounted for 58% of all fresh tomato imports in 2021, a jump from 49% a decade earlier.

The U.S. continues to send most of its fresh-market vegetable exports to Canada, taking 78% of the total value followed by Mexico (7%). Volume transported to Canada increased by 7% and the Netherlands by 12% but decreased for Mexico by 16%.

Lettuce was the leading fresh market export by value in 2021, accounting for 22% of total value with leaf/romaine representing the major share of volume.