Produce drives Port of Oakland export surge

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Luisa Cheshire

BY LUISA CHESHIRE

Produce drives Port of Oakland export surge

A surge in US fresh produce shipments to Asia is driving an export boom at the Californian Port of Oakland

Produce drives Port of Oakland export surge

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The port released new figures showing sizable increases in fruit and nut exports destined primarily for Asia - up 30 per cent over 2015 levels through October. This produce surge has lifted Oakland total export volume 10 per cent in the same period.

The port exported the equivalent of 65,600 20-ft containers of fruit and nuts through September. That was up from 50,306 containers a year ago.

“We’re seeing a favourable confluence of events,” said Beth Frisher, the port’s manager of business development and international marketing.  “Demand for high-quality US agricultural commodities is growing and producers here have been able to respond thanks to good harvests and higher yields.”

Agricultural exports have increased 16 per cent in the past year, the port said. Farm products now account for 40 per cent of Oakland’s 2016 total exports, up from 38 per cent last year.

The port attributed much of its export growth to the rise of Asia’s middle class. It said that consumers with newfound purchasing power are clamoring for higher-quality US farm products. 

Oakland's top five export destinations are China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Its top five export commodities: wood pulp, fruits and nuts, beverages and spirits, meats and cereals.

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