Snap Bean Update: Imports on the Rise

Clint Thompson Exports/Imports, Florida, Georgia, Top Posts

UGA Extension photo of snap beans.

It is the peak season for snap beans in the U.S. Two Southeastern states continue to lead the country in domestic production. According to USDA Economic Research Service, the 2017 Census of Agriculture reported Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, California and Texas as the leading fresh-market snap bean states.

Florida is the primary domestic supplier from November to April, with additional volume supplemented mostly by Mexican imports. Florida is the leading fresh-market source, accounting for 10% of the fresh crop. Georgia is the primary domestic supplier in May, June and October.

U.S. production of snap beans averaged 0.6 billion pounds from 2018-20. Utilized production of all snap beans fell 9% to 1,477 million pounds in 2020. Approximately 20% of the snap beans produced in the U.S. from 2018-20 were used in the fresh market.

There were an estimated 16,414 snap bean farms in 2017, a decrease of 20% from 2012.

Imports of fresh snap beans have increased substantially. Volume rose 111% between 2008-10 and 2018-2020 with approximately 83% coming from Mexico. Fresh imports are the strongest from December through March. That is when cool weather limits domestic production. Imports accounted for 45% of domestic availability in 2020, up from 19% in 2010. Imports have increased an average of 6% every year for the past five years and represent nearly one-half of availability.