Mexico is the third largest producer of strawberries in the world, representing 9.7% of the total world strawberry production. (p. 10) While Mexico sits behind China and the US in terms of production, it surpasses China in terms of average strawberry yields.
In fact, Mexico’s strawberry production reached an all-time high of 20,584 million Mexican pesos in 2019. (p.43) This underscores how strawberry production in Mexico greatly contributes to the world strawberry trade.
Mexico together with the US are the only North American countries that form part of the top 10 strawberry producers in the world, (p. 5) and have the highest yields worldwide at 56.3 and 52.4 tons per hectare, respectively. (p. 11) For Mexico, this represents its highest historical yield. (p. 42)
But the truth is, Mexico does not have sprawling strawberry fields at all. Michoacán, Baja California, and Guanajuato are the only Mexican states that have significant strawberry production in Mexico. However, there are 11 other states that contribute nearly 16,000 tons of strawberries per year. (p. 44)
Let’s take a deep dive into Mexican strawberry exports: how it contributes to the global strawberry trade, and which countries are benefiting from it.
Mexico was the second largest exporter of strawberries in 2019, with a 14.6% share, compared with Spain, the top strawberry exporter globally, which took a 31.9% share. (p. 5)
Mexico also recorded a historical maximum in exported volume, with 286,915 tons of strawberries in 2019. (p. 13) This success generated USD 564 million from strawberry exports during the period. (p. 16)
By 2020, Mexico accounted for 23.3% of global strawberry exports, closely behind Spain which took 23.9% of world’s exports. In monetary terms, the value of Mexican strawberry exports in 2020 totaled to USD 654 million, up by 16% from 2016. (p. 17)
Changes in Mexico and Spain’s exports volume shows that the gap between the two countries are narrowing. Mexico’s exports are increasing, while Spain’s is on the decline.
About 89.9% of Mexican strawberry exports goes to the US. (p. 18) Strawberry exports from Mexico to the US intend to cover strawberry production gaps in the latter, which occur mainly in the winter and early spring. Mexican strawberry exports to the US peak during these seasons. (p. 14)
Mexico’s exports to the US is the biggest strawberry export in the world, representing 20.8% of the global strawberry trade. In 2021 alone, 36.5 million boxes of strawberries were shipped to the US. (p. 55)
The increasing demand from the US is partly due to the declining local strawberry volumes in various states, such as California and Florida. (p. 28) In addition, the market for fresh strawberry sales in the US has grown quite competitive, with various companies wanting to take a larger share of the market. Some of the largest strawberry companies in the US are: (p. 23)
Mexico also makes strawberry exports to other countries besides the US. To address this growing demand, fresh strawberry exports grew fastest in Mexico between 2018 and 2019, generating USD 232 million in export value. (p. 16)
Mexico’s other customers for strawberry exports are (p. 13):
Canada takes 9.5% of strawberry exports from Mexico, which means together with the US, these two countries — the top strawberry importers globally — take 99.4% of Mexican strawberry exports. (p. 18)
As one of the biggest strawberry exporters, Mexico is home to various companies that ship fresh strawberries to the US, its biggest customer. The top Mexican strawberry selling companies are: (p. 24)
Sun Belle Mexico is by far the largest shipper of fresh strawberries to the US, sending over 57 million tons. Its shipment of fresh strawberries to the US is even larger, compared with the other top 14 strawberry shippers’ volumes combined.
But Mexico imports strawberry supplies from other countries, too, despite being such a massive producer and exporter. The country imports produce from:
Mexico’s strawberry exports include frozen and processed products, which it mainly acquires from the US. (p. 5) In 2019, Mexico imported 16,690 tons of frozen and processed strawberries from the US. (p. 19) All over the world, there was a growing demand for frozen (37.6%) and processed (8.5%) strawberries by this time. (p. 14)
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Buyers of fresh strawberries will be able to utilize the ProducePay Marketplace automated matchmaking process, which allows them to quickly find the necessary growers that meet their specific produce and volume requirements.
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