Will COVID-19 affect the global growth of fruit and vegetable exports?
During the past five years, the demand for fruits and vegetables worldwide has grown at a 4% year-on-year rate (Fresh Plaza, 30 April). However, this growth may be cut short this year by the expansion of the coronavirus in the main destinations, the United States (which accounts for 15% share of the world’s fruit and vegetable imports) and the Netherlands (6%). In the first quarter of 2020, the United States usually imports 29% of the total annual fruit and vegetables; its main suppliers are Mexico (55% of imports), Chile (11%), and Peru (6%). The main imported products at this time are grapes (9% share), tomatoes (8%) and avocados (7%). Grape imports during the first quarter exceeded $900 million (+20% compared to the same period of the previous year). The main suppliers were Chile (62%) and Peru (36%). Tomato imports during this period totalled more than $750 million (+11%). The largest tomato supplier in the first quarter was Mexico (96%). Avocado imports totalled more than $750 million (+25%). The main supplier was Mexico (98% share). Until the end of the quarter, avocado imports had a good dynamism and were well received in the market.
The Netherlands imports 37% of all of its yearly imports during the first quarter of the year. Its main suppliers are Spain (15%), South Africa (9%) and Peru (8%). The main imported products are grapes (which account for 13% of all imports), bananas (8%) and avocados (6%). During the first quarter of the year, the Netherlands grape imports amounted to $400 million (–2%). The main suppliers were South Africa (58%) and Peru (17%). Grape imports from South Africa grew 7%, while those from Peru fell by 30%. Banana imports totalled more than $260 million (+9%). The largest supplier was Panama (with a 96% share). During the first 2 months of the year, banana imports grew by 15%, but in March they fell dramatically and were similar to those of 2019. Avocado imports totalled more than $200 million (+17%). The main suppliers were Chile (31%) and Colombia (18%). Until March 2020, avocado imports had a good dynamism and were well received in the market, which favoured the Chilean campaign.