PIERS shows containerized banana imports into the U.S. rose sharply in the fourth quarter of 2012, continuing a trend of year-over-year growth seen throughout the year.
Imports in the fourth quarter grew to 103,121 TEUs from 85,245 TEUs in the fourth quarter of 2011. This was the seventh straight quarter of increases for banana imports.
The fourth quarter’s 21% rise was the largest year-to-year increase in the past few years. Banana imports had grown 14% in the third quarter, more than 13% in the second quarter and more than 5%t in the first quarter, according to data from PIERS.
The total number of TEUs of bananas imported into the U.S. in the full year of 2012 was 413,640, up 13.4% or 48,873 TEUs from 364,767 TEUs in 2011.
The top countries of origin for U.S. banana imports in 2012 were Guatemala, with a 30.2% share of imports, with its share down 2.1% from 2011; Costa Rica, with 21.2%, up 0.2%s; Ecuador, 19.%t, down 0.5%; and Honduras, 17.4%, up 0.7%. Imports from Panama more than doubled in 2012 from 3,531 TEUs in 2011 to 7,322 in 2012. Also, imports from Mexico via ocean container nearly doubled in 2012 with 16,089 TEUs imported, 85% more than the 8,712 imported in 2011.
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