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W38: Strawberry Update

In W38 in the strawberry landscape, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report highlighting the significant changes the United States (US) strawberry market experienced from 2000 to 2020. Organic strawberry production has grown threefold between 2008 and 2019. Fresh blueberry imports, notably highbush varieties, have surged, accounting for about 62% of the domestic market. Incorporating high-yielding strawberry varieties has boosted domestic production while requiring less acreage. Fresh strawberry imports, mainly from Mexico, have grown substantially, reaching a record high of 431 million pounds (lb) in 2020. The US exports strawberries primarily for fresh consumption, with Canada being a significant destination, and fresh strawberry exports have increased by 94% in volume from 2018 to 2020.

As of W38, strawberry supplies from California, US, are sufficient for the season, but demand remains strong. Oxnard is expected to reach peak production in Oct-23 and may continue until the end of Nov-23. High demand for berries, driven by a shortage of blueberries, is keeping pricing strong. Prices are forecasted to remain stable for the next four to six weeks.

From Jan-23 to Jul-23, Spanish vegetable exports totaled 3.29 million tons, a 2% decrease from the same period in 2022, while fruit exports reached 3.71 million tons, reflecting a 12% decrease. Strawberries were among the top exported fruits, with 241.83 thousand tons. Despite the drop in export volumes, the total sales value of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 8%, reaching USD 11.48 million (EUR 10.88 million). Fruits contributed USD 6.02 million (EUR 5.70 million), a 2% increase. The volume decline in exports up to July was attributed to adverse weather conditions, while the increased value was due to reduced production and rising costs due to inflation.

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