Trade and markets

Tropical fruits

Global production of both major and minor tropical fruits has been growing steadily over the past decade, reaching an estimated 118 million tonnes in 2017. On the back of ample growth in supply and demand, global trade in major tropical fruits arrived at nearly 7 million tonnes in 2016/17. While tropical fruits play a comparatively small role in global agricultural trade in volume terms, accounting for a mere 3 percent of world agricultural food products exports, their high average export unit value of well above USD1000 per tonne place them as the third most valuable fruit group. With a total export value estimated at some US$9.1 billion in 2017, major tropical fruits rank behind bananas (close to US$10 billion) and apples (some US$8 billion). As such, trade in tropical fruits accounts for approximately 1 percent of global agricultural food products export value. An estimated 99 percent of tropical fruit production originates in developing countries, mostly cultivated by smallholder farmers who typically are endowed with, or have access to, less than 5ha of land. Trade in tropical fruits generates substantial export earning for many of these countries, thereby contributing to their food security.

Global prospects for minor tropical fruits: Contrary to their major counterparts, only a small share of minor tropical fruit production enters local markets, and, with few exceptions, the different varieties continue to be little known outside the areas where they are grown. However, production and trade of minor tropical fruits are gaining importance globally, mainly in recognition of their contribution to a healthy diet. (Special Feature of Food Outlook, July 2018).

Global prospects for major tropical fruitsShort-term outlook, challenges and opportunities in a vibrant global marketplace. Tropical fruits constitute a comparatively new group in global commodity trade, having emerged on the international marketplace in significance only from 1970 onwards, thanks to advances in transportation, trade agreements and shifting consumer preferences in favour of these fruits (Special Feature of Food Outlook, November 2017). 

Medium-term prospects for raw materials, horticulture and tropical products
This publication puts the focus on a set of selected Raw materials, Horticulture and Tropical (RAMHOT) Products, namely sugar, tea, banana, tropical fruits, citrus products, Jute, and hard fibres. A medium-term outlook is generated for each of these products, and an analysis is undertaken to assess underlying market drivers and the factors likely to shape market performance over the next 10 years.

Smallholder participation in the tropical superfruits value chain: ensuring equitable share of the success to enhance their livelihood
The production and trade of tropical fruits generate income, improving the livelihoods and food security of producers, who are almost exclusively smallholders in developing countries.

See also