U.S. containerized banana imports increased 12% to 105,203 TEUs from January to March, the fourth straight quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth, according to data from PIERS.
The increase brought banana imports to their second-highest quarterly volume in more than six years, surpassed only by the 108,869 TEUs in the second quarter of 2012. Import volumes were up 2.3% from the 102,843 TEUs imported in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The top countries of origin for U.S. banana imports in the first quarter were Guatemala, with a 32% share, up 4.7 percentage points year-over-year; Costa Rica, with 19.6%, up 2.1 percentage points; Ecuador, 18.8%, down 5.8 percentage points; and Honduras, 16.8%, down 2.7 percentage points.
Banana imports from Colombia jumped 70% in the quarter from a year earlier, to 6,420 TEUs. Containerized ocean imports from Mexico nearly doubled, to 5,108 TEUs from 2,748 in the first quarter of 2012.