The 10 countries that export the most fruit in the world accounted for more than half of the exported fruits in 2014. So if you’re eating a banana right now, you are most likely holding a piece of Ecuador. Congratulations!
Fruit production is a part of a nation’s agriculture output. For those of you who are thinking that industrialization is the way to go, there certainly is a lot of benefits when a country is industrialized. However, it must still have some semblance of self-sufficiency, especially with food production. In this case, we will be talking about the largest fruit exporters, and most of these countries have invested heavily in their agricultural sectors to become excellent models for developing countries worldwide.
What do you think are the fruits that are exported the most? Are you eating an apple right now? Do you like mangoes? One trend at the moment is that tropical fruits have a strong demand in the global market, and this is where tropical countries can benefit from. According to the Oxford Business Group, there is an increased demand from western markets such as the EU and the US in recent years. This is due to the healthy lifestyle craze that has been the “in” thing these past years. Health-conscious consumers would rather eat organic fruit over processed, frozen fruits, which make tropical countries an ideal location for vast plantations. This will also benefit the locals, as long as proper procurement of land is followed.
To create our list, Insider Monkey had to scour the web for news articles, figures and fact sheets for the countries that export the most fruit. In this list, we will be focusing primarily on the exported fresh fruits. Processed or frozen fruits are not included, as well as canned fruits. Groentenen Fruit was our main source, while additional information were provided by World’s Top Exports, World Bank, Fresh Produce Exporter’s Forum, Fresh Plaza and Produce Marketing Association. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find figures for 2015 yet. Although there are projections for 2015, we opted to stick to the concrete figures for 2014. In addition, instead of share percentage of fruit exports, we ranked each country on their total exports measured in volume, which is indicated in each entry.
For those who’d rather eat chocolates than fruits for their sweet fix, check out the 10 countries that export the most chocolate in the world!
Now let’s finally see the countries, which dominate the world of fruit exports!
10. The Netherlands
Fruit exported (in million tons): 2.786
Known for legalizing the use of marijuana, the Netherlands also accounted for 3% of all fruit exports in the world. Pears and apples have been the top fruit exports of this country.
Fruit exported (tons): 2.866
The first Central American entry in our list, Guatemala accounts for about 4% of worldwide fruit exports. Bananas are its top fruit export. In recent years, pineapples and mangoes have contributed a larger percentage of its fruit exports.
8. South Africa
Fruit exported (tons): 2.879
South Africa is one of the top exporters of grapes, apples and pears in the world. In 2014 alone, the Southern African (duh) nation exported 225 million tons of grapes all across the globe.
Fruit exported (tons): 2.880
Italy was in a very peculiar situation in 2014. Despite being the 7th largest exporter of fruits in the world, it also had a negative import-export figure for fruits. This means that Italy imported more fruits than it exported, despite exporting 4% of the total fruit exports in the world. And this might surprise most readers, but Italy’s top fruit export in the world is a kiwi. They export more than New Zealand, which is almost always associated with kiwis, that they are now the top exporter of the fruit.
Fruit exported (tons): 3.000
Fruits abound in this archipelago of more than 7,000 islands. Main products include bananas, pineapples, and mangoes, which by the way are one of the sweetest, if not the sweetest, in the world. The Philippines is one of the top exporters of pineapples, with vast plantations located in Mindanao. These pineapple plantations have made the Philippines 6th on our list of the 10 countries that export the most fruit in the world.
Fruit exported (tons): 3.284
This North American nation was the world’s top exporter of avocados, accounting for more than 50% of the global total exports in 2012. Tomatoes have also been a significant Mexican export. In 2012, exported tomatoes accounted for about 23% of the global total. And most of these exports have been bought by the number 4 exporter in our list.
4. The USA
Fruit exported (tons): 4.262
Apples accounted for more than 20% of the country’s fruit exports, with oranges a close second at 16%. Most of these apples are destined for Mexico. Curiously, the US is also a big importer and exporter of bananas, with Guatemalan, Costa Rican, and Ecuadorian bananas being the bulk of its imports. Some of its banana imports are actually re-exported to its northern neighbor, Canada.
3. Costa Rica
Fruit exported (tons): 4.490
Being another tropical country, Costa Rica’s top exports are naturally tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapples, and melons. And as mentioned from our previous entry, most of Costa Rican bananas become American bananas, which may become Canadian bananas at the end of their journey. Polite bananas, anyone?
Fruit exported (tons): 6.139
Tropical countries have dominated this list, and it is no surprise that Ecuador’s top exports would be also bananas, pineapples, and mangoes. This is aside from the excellent Ecuadorian coffee that this small South American nation is known for.
Fruit exported (tons): 7.228
Accounting for 9% of all fruit exports, you may be surprised that a non-tropical nation tops this list. Home of the Tomatina festival, it is no surprise that Spain produces a lot of tomatoes – 3rd largest exporter in the world. Spain dominates the global fruit exports with its citrus and oranges, which the country is the top exporters. Its citrus production is concentrated in a 500-kilomtere stretch of land along the Mediterranean called the Levante. Citrusy Spain is surprising indeed, which makes it number one on our list of the 10 countries that export the most fruit in the world.