Horticultural products drive total U.S. agricultural import growth
The value of U.S. agricultural imports grew by a compounded annual growth rate of 5.8 percent from fiscal years 2013 to 2023. In most years, at least half the value of U.S. agricultural imports was in horticultural products—a broad category including fruits, vegetables, spirits, wine, essential oils, tree nuts, and nursery stock. Growth in demand for horticultural products has been driven by consumer desire for a year-round supply, changing consumer preferences, and foreign production that is increasingly competitive with domestically grown produce. Moreover, tariff- and quota-free import access under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and later the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), also supported consumer demand. From 2022 to 2023, however, the import value of horticultural products decreased slightly, mostly because of receding global prices and reduced imports of alcoholic beverages. However, higher imports of vegetable oils and grain products (under the oilseeds and the grains categories) more than offset that decrease, supporting overall import growth in 2023 of about 1 percent.
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