Saturday, November 04, 2006

ASPARAGUS IMPORT U.S.A FROM COLOMBIA


Economic Research Service, USDA Vegetables and Melons Outlook/

VGS-295/February 25, 2003 10
Commodity Highlight: Fresh-market Asparagus
Asparagus is believed to have originated in the eastern
Mediterranean and Asia Minor regions where it has
been cultivated for over 2,000 years. The Greeks and
Romans used asparagus as both food and medicine, and
the Romans dried it to be eaten during the off season.
A perennial and member of the lily family, asparagus
has reportedly been grown in U.S. home gardens since
colonial times. However, asparagus was not produced
commercially in the United States until the mid-19th
century.
In the United States, asparagus is largely sold in dark
green form although some white or light green
asparagus can occasionally be found. Asparagus is a
good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium,
and folic acid. Sold fresh, frozen, or canned, asparagus
is low in fat and contains no cholesterol but when
canned, asparagus loses some of its potassium and
vitamin A.
The United States is the world’s third leading producer
behind China and Peru, with 138 million pounds for
fresh market and 71 million pounds for processing
(2001). California, Washington, and Michigan are the
leading fresh-market States.
• U.S. asparagus (fresh and processed) is produced
on 2,672 farms (1997 Census).
• The farm value of the U.S. fresh-market crop was
$137 million in 2002.
• Fresh-market use was a record 273 million pounds
in 2000 but moved lower the next 2 years.
• Fresh per capita use has averaged 0.95 pound
during 2000-02, up 60 percent from 1990-92 and
nearly 3 times higher than 1980-82.
• California accounts for three-fourths of the freshmarket
asparagus grown in the United States.
• Imports have been trending higher over time,
accounting for 60 percent of domestic use in 2001.
In 2001, the United States imported 157 million pounds
of fresh-market asparagus valued at $117 million. This
was 3 times greater than in 1990 and 20 times larger
than in 1980 and reflects rising demand. The top
sources for imports in 2001 include Mexico (55 percent
of import value), Peru (40 %), and Colombia (2%).
 

U.S. import volume peaks during February
and March and again in October with 40 percent of all
imports arriving during these 3 months. A decade ago,
imports were largely concentrated around Easter, but
volume has now increased during the summer and fall
months. Imports remain lowest during the spring
months when domestic shipments peak.
In 2001, the United States exported 32 million pounds
of fresh-market asparagus valued at $40 million.
Although the trend has been relatively flat since 1990,
it is 65 percent above the volume shipped in 1980.
Major export markets in 2001 included Japan (44
percent of export value), Canada (42 percent), and
Switzerland (5 percent).

Source: Economic Research Service, USDA.

Table 12--U.S. fresh-market asparagus: Supply, utilization, and price
Supply Utilization Season-average price
Year Per Current Constant
Production Imports Total Exports Domestic capita dollars dollars
1/ 2/ 2/ use 1/ 3/
-- Million pounds -- Pounds -- $/cwt --
1980 78.9 7.2 86.1 19.2 66.9 0.29 58.10 101.24
1990 142.4 43.8 186.2 39.4 146.8 0.59 68.60 79.30
1998 126.4 109.8 236.2 34.4 201.8 0.73 124.00 120.16
1999 145.5 142.3 287.8 38.1 249.7 0.89 131.00 125.13
2000 150.4 159.4 309.8 36.6 273.2 0.97 117.00 109.46
2001 137.2 157.0 294.2 31.6 262.6 0.92 140.00 127.95
2002 126.7 180.3 307.0 29.3 277.6 0.97 110.00 99.46
2003 f 125.0 185.0 310.0 31.0 279.0 0.96 -- --
-- = Not available. f = ERS forecast. 1/ Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Production data w ere adjusted by ERS
for 1970-81 to account for States not included in NASS estimates. 2/ Source: Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce.
From 1978-89, exports adjusted by ERS using Canadian import data. 3/ Constant-dollar prices calculated using GDP deflator, 1996=100.
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