|CCP: BA/TF 01/10
COMMITTEE ON COMMODITY PROBLEMS
INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP ON BANANAS AND TROPICAL FRUITS
San José, Costa Rica, 4 - 8 December 2001
CURRENT MARKET SITUATION
V. PRICE TRENDS IN MAJOR IMPORT MARKETS
VI. OVERVIEW OF MINOR TROPICAL FRUITS
VII. CONCLUDING REMARKS
1. This document examines the current market situation for production and trade of tropical fruits. The statistical information in this document was derived from responses to the Sub-Group's questionnaire on tropical fruit, which was sent to producing and consuming countries, supplemented by data from the FAO Database, FAOSTAT. A complete set of tropical fruit data is contained in the statistical compendium CCP:BA/TF CRS 2, and the reader is urged to refer to these tables when reading this note.
2. Delegates are urged to review the data and analysis of the current market situation and contribute information on developments in 2000 and the outlook for 2001 and 2002. Furthermore, delegates are invited to review the production, consumption, trade and price information as detailed in the Statistical Compendium (CCP:BATF 01/CRS 2). Delegates may wish to discuss the low response rate to the tropical fruit questionnaire, recommend ways to enhance and improve the exchange of market information. Country representatives could greatly assist FAO in its mission to collect timely and accurate information on the global tropical fruit market, particularly price series and/or premiums paid for superior quality or variety preference.
3. World production of tropical fruit is estimated to have increased by nearly 20 million tonnes over the last decade to reach 61.4 million tonnes in 2000, of which developing countries account for some 98 percent (Tables 1 to 4 of the statistical compendium). Mango is the dominant variety produced worldwide, followed by pineapples, papaya and avocado. For the purpose of this analysis, these fruits are referred to as major tropical fruits. Those that are traded in smaller volumes, such as lychees, durian, rambuttan, guavas and passionfruit are referred to as minor tropical fruits.
4. Global production of mangoes accounts for about 36 percent of world tropical fruit production, estimated at 22.4 million tonnes in 2000, an increase of 2 percent over the 1999 level. More than 75 percent of world mango output is produced in the Far East, 14 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean and 10 percent in Africa. Pineapple output in 2000 is estimated at 13.4 million tonnes, 22 percent of the world tropical fruit production. The Far East accounts for 53 percent of pineapple production, with 27 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean and 15 percent in Africa. Papaya production in 2000 reached 8.4 million tonnes, with more than half of this produced in Latin America and the Caribbean. Avocado production in 2000 is estimated at 2.3 million tonnes, with more than two thirds produced in Latin America and the Caribbean. The total of all other tropical fruits is estimated at just under 15 million tonnes.
Table 1 - Production of tropical fruits
|Mangoes||22 103||21 714||21 939||22 367|
|India||10 597||10 157||9 782||10 000|
|China||2 037||2 561||3 127||3 307|
|Mexico||1 345||1 474||1 450||1 529|
|Pineapples||12 642||12 151||13 171||13 436|
|Thailand||2 066||1 739||2 331||2 281|
|Brazil||1 600||1 094||1 161||1 340|
|Phillippines||1 541||1 423||1 519||1 524|
|Avocados||2 191||2 264||2 195||2 331|
|Papaya||6 415||8 204||8 378||8 426|
|Brazil||1 742||3 248||3 300||3 300|
|India||1 334||1 582||1 582||1 582|
|Other tropical fruit||14 603||13 974||14 781||14 887|
|Philippines||3 642||2 846||2 935||2 935|
|India||3 500||4 000||4 460||4 460|
|Indonesia||1 894||1 262||1 300||1 300|
|Total production||57 954||58 307||60 464||61 447|
5. International trade in tropical fruits continues to be dominated by pineapples (Table 2). Significant growth in both the volume and value of international trade in other tropical fruits has developed in recent years, particularly mango and, to a lesser extent, avocados, carambola, guava, lychee, mangosteen, passionfruit and rambuttan. Most of the recent growth in tropical fruit trade is due to expanded crop areas specifically intended for export.
6. Preliminary returns for 2000 indicate greater exports of several fruits, significantly for avocado and papaya, and marginally for pineapples. Estimates are that pineapple exports reached nearly 870 000 tonnes in 2000, a slight increase over 1999, with the top 3 exporting nations accounting for 81 percent of trade. Increased exports of avocadoes and papaya, at 228 000 and 152 000 tonnes, respectively, for 2000 are also estimated. For both fruits, nearly 70 percent of export trade is concentrated in the top 3 exporting nations. Slightly less than 50 percent of fresh mango exports originate in the top 3 exporting countries, and early reports indicate a slight decline in export volumes between 1999 and 2000.
7. Data on trade volumes for 1999, the most recent year for which a complete set of official data on international trade exists, indicate that Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for about 51 percent of world exports of fresh tropical fruits in 1999 (Tables 5 to 8 in the compendium). Asia was second with around 24 percent, and Africa accounted for nearly 20 percent. However, in terms of trade in processed products, Asia was the dominant supplier of processed tropical fruits, accounting for more than 90 percent of world exports.
8. Pineapple was the most widely traded tropical fruit in 1999, accounting for 47 percent of total trade, followed by mangoes at 25 percent, avocados at 11 percent and papayas at 7 percent. However, in terms of market shares, minor fruits, such as lychees, rambuttan, passionfruit and mangosteen, have been expanding most rapidly, even to the point of reducing the relative avocado and mango shares of world trade in 1999. Exports of fresh pineapples increased by more than 15 percent to 855 000 tonnes in 1999. Mango volumes shipped in 1999 totalled 452 000 tonnes, an increase of 6 percent, while exports of fresh avocados and papayas increased only slightly in 1999 to 202 000 tonnes and 128 000 tonnes, respectively.
Table 2 - Exports of fresh tropical fruits
|Other tropical fruit||120||150||180||...|
|Total fresh exports||1 476||1 605||1 817||...|
9. Preliminary data for 2000 indicate increased import volumes for all four major tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, avocados, papaya), with the largest percent increase over 1999 for avocados (Table 3). The United States, the European Community, Japan, Canada and China (Hong Kong SAR) remain the largest import markets for fresh tropical fruit. Pineapple imports, at 904 000 tonnes, accounted for 50 percent of total world import volumes in 2000, with the EC and the United States accounting for 70 percent of import demand. Mango imports, at 514 000 tonnes for 2000, increased slightly over 1999, with the United States and the EC being the top importing nations.
10. Developed countries imported almost 80 percent of fresh tropical fruits in 1999, which is in line with preliminary returns on demand trends for 2000. The major markets included Europe (mainly the EC) which accounted for 41 percent of imports in 1999, followed by the United States at 33 percent, and the Far East at 15 percent (Tables 9 to 12).
11. The EC imported 38 percent of the pineapples traded internationally in 1999 (Table 3), with the United States importing 32 percent and Japan 10 percent. The United States was the major market for mangoes, importing 44 percent of the world total in 1999, while the EC accounted for 23 percent, Hong Kong SAR for 6 percent and Japan accounted for 2 percent. For avocado, the EC was the major importer, importing around half of global avocado imports, while the United States imported 28 percent in 1999, Canada 6 percent and Japan imported 4 percent. Finally, for papayas, the United States was the major importer responsible for 51 percent of the global total, Singapore 19 percent, while the EC and Japan imported 10 and 5 percent, respectively.
Table 3 - Imports of fresh tropical fruits
|China, Hong Kong SAR||37||47||32||32|
|China, Hong Kong SAR||13||13||14||15|
|Other tropical fruit||149||143||145||...|
|Total fresh imports||1 464||1 672||1 850||...|
12. As for prices, information varied widely depending on varieties and on quality standards, which were also quite varied. The difficulties in obtaining an overall picture of the market were exacerbated by market reports received by the Secretariat which did not differentiate between varieties, and therefore, fruits which received premium prices were listed with those that did not, resulting in average prices which did not accurately reflect true prices received. An effort has been made to differentiate between airfreighted fruit (assumed to be premium) and sea freighted fruit. The most complete set of price data available on this basis was for Europe, and therefore, discussion has been focussed on this market (Tables 14 to 16 of the Statistical Compendium list prices of major tropical fruits traded, including United States and Japanese fruit prices).
13. In the United Kingdom, overall prices have steadied in recent years, but have fallen from the highs of the early 1990s, particularly for papayas, mostly due to the increase in diversity and consequently in competition among sources and higher volumes imported.
14. Similarly, in France and Germany there was a downward trend in prices, but less pronounced than in the United Kingdom. Price patterns in general show seasonality, more pronounced for certain products, such as mango, which is driven by non-regular supply and peaks in demand during particular periods. In fact, marketing strategies from trade operators are reportedly being focussed on improved regularity in supply flows. A good example is papaya, where increased imports in developed markets has been triggered by larger and more constant availability from major exporting countries in Latin America and the Far East.
15. Although not widely exported to developed countries, minor tropical fruits are important to the daily diet in producing countries. Information on output (Table 13) of fruits, such as longan, rambuttan, lychees and durian, are scarcely available, but trade statistics from countries involved with their export show a growing interest, not only from traditional markets but new markets as well. The following section reviews some of the recent trends in minor tropical fruit production and trade. The latest data available for minor fruit is 1999.
16. An estimated 1.4 million tonnes of durian was produced globally in 1999. The major producing countries of durian were Thailand, which accounted for 781 000 tonnes, Malaysia at 265 000 tonnes and Indonesia at 267 000 tonnes. Other producing countries included the Philippines, which produced 26 700 tonnes.
17. The major exporting countries were Thailand with 111 000 tonnes and Malaysia with 35 000 tonnes, and major importing countries were China, Hong Kong SAR with 65 000 tonnes, China Province of Taiwan with 5 000 tonnes and Singapore with 40 000 tonnes. Other importing countries include the United States with about 2000 tonnes (mainly frozen) and the EC with 500 tonnes.
18. An estimated 1.0 million tonnes of rambuttan was produced globally in 1999. The major producing countries were Thailand, which accounted for 569 000 tonnes, Malaysia with 126 000 tonnes and Indonesia with 320 000 tonnes. The other producing country of some note was the Philippines with an output of 11 600 tonnes.
19. The major exporting countries of rambuttan were Thailand with 5 900 tonnes and Malaysia with 3 500 tonnes. Major importing nations were Malaysia with 4 000 tonnes and Singapore with 5 000 tonnes. Other importing countries included China, Hong Kong SAR, China Province of Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and the EC (mainly the Netherlands).
20. These products are becoming increasingly available in Europe following implementation of promotional activities and better information to consumers. Lychee imports into EC countries grew by about 80 percent between 1995 and 1999 (totalling more than 18 847 tonnes in 1999), and passion fruit imports were 6 173 tonnes, up from 4 812 tonnes in 1997. It is widely held by market operators that potential exists for further growth.
21. In developed countries, a taste for exotic products is rapidly evolving and needs to be accompanied by awareness and promotion campaigns. Many consumers in North America and Europe are still largely unfamiliar with tropical fruit, particularly the minor fruits, and are generally not used to its appearance and often intense flavour and scent. Less popular products are still targeted at high-income markets or by ethnicity of consumers group. This would appear to explain the reason for more dynamic consumption patterns in countries where the population is more diversified.
22. In percentage terms, year-on-year growth rates of imports are often amazingly high, but it should be noted that in the case of minor fruits, volumes are still marginal if compared to traditional deciduous fruit or to more common exotics, such as pineapple or mangoes. Current forecasts of general economic growth would justify continuation, if not a consolidation, of recently observed consumption patterns. Market monitoring for those products not spelled out under currently applied trade classification systems (those grouped under HS code 08.10.90, for example) is not easy to accomplish, and the dismal response to the questionnaire from member countries has exacerbated the lack of clear information concerning market trends. The Sub-Group may wish to discuss means for increasing response rates to questionnaires on tropical fruits.
23. Major challenges for future market growth appear to be associated with a co-ordinated approach to managing the field-to-market-supply chain, for both fresh and processed products. Issues related to food safety, pest and disease control as well as to size and appearance of produce should find a proper balance between costs and customer demand. National policies to encourage diversification to more remunerative crops should be implemented concurrently with measures to avoid undue distortions and trade barriers. Additional efforts at both international and local levels should continue in order to improve, inform and familiarize consumers with the characteristics of all tropical fruits, focussing on those issues (health, calories and fibre content, etc.) which attract great attention in high-income, developed markets).