Berries become Mexico’s number one agri-food export product

During the first quarter of 2022, berries (red fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries) became Mexico’s number one agri-food export product, generating more income from foreign sales than beer, which for years has been Mexico’s primary agri-food export product.  

(article translated and adapted from La Jornada)

Beeld: ©Timo Volz

Calculations by the Grupo Consultor de Mercados Agrícolas (GCMA, a Mexican agricultural consultancy firm), based on information from the Bank of Mexico, show that in the first three months of 2022 Mexico exported 1,395 billion USD of berries, a 22,5% increase compared to Q1 of 2021. In the same period, exports of beer increased with 16,8% from 1,185 billion UDS to 1,384 billion USD, not enough to retain it’s position as leading agri-food export product.

As demonstrated by the numbers, the above is not the result of a poor performance by the beer industry or of a reduced beer demand, but of an extraordinary quarter for berries, driven mainly by price increases caused by the post-pandemic recovery and the war in Ukraine.

According to information from Aneberries, Mexico’s National Association of Berry Exporters, some 350 export companies export around 500.000 tons of berries to 38 countries around the world.

Young raspberry plants

The growth of Mexico’s berry exports is a positive sign for The Netherlands too: The Netherlands is currently working closely with Mexican authorities to obtain market access for raspberry young plants from The Netherlands.

Avocados, tequila and beef

Data from the Bank of Mexico show that during Q1 2022 berries and beer were not the only Mexican agri-food products that saw significant export growth: exports of avocados, third on the list, generated 1,128 billion USD (31% more than in Q1 2021), tequila exports, at fourth place, generated 953 million USD (+53% compared to Q1 2021); while beef exports, at fifth place, generated 820 million USD (+29.4%). Tomato exports, on the other hand, dropped 10%, to   688 million USD.

In the first three months 2022, the total value of all agri-food exports from Mexico was 12,6 billion USD, an increase of 15.7% compared to Q1 2021. At the same time, Mexico’s agri-food imports were 9,4 billion USD, an increase of 20,5%.