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Chilean fruit could increase its value in the US after hurricanes

The value of fruit shipments to the United States could increase in the coming months. This, because the passage of the hurricanes Irma and Maria swept away much of the agricultural plantation in the state of Florida.

The president of the National Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta), Luis Schmidt, said that to date there have been increases in the prices of some fruits that have been exported to the US and that this trend could be extended towards other fruit products. "We know that the plantations in Florida have been severely affected, however, we are still not clear in terms of the magnitude of the damage," he said.

The leader of the guild said that "so far, the only Chilean products that have had an impact on their price are oranges and mandarins. However, this trend could be extended to other fruits driven by substitution. If you do not have oranges and their prices have become very high, you will resort to another type of fruit. We will start our early table grape season in Copiapo, and this can positively impact us."

Along the same lines, the president and controller of Sutil Companies, Juan Sutil, stated that "there's no doubt this (the lack of fruit products in the United States) will have a positive impact on some national fruits, as in the case of blueberries, some citrus and table grapes, since we will have an early harvest of that variety in the north."

He added: "However, we must consider that this year Chile will have significantly more fruit volumes than other years because we have not had any adverse weather effects, such as frost, and we have also had a good amount of irrigation as we had well distributed rains."

The Citrus Committee of the Association of Chile Fruit Exporters (Asoex), estimates that there will be a 3% increase in the citrus export volume - where the United States is the main market of destination- in this 2017-2018 season, with a total volume of around 256 thousand tons. Of this total, 43% would correspond to clementines / mandarins, 29% to oranges and the remaining 28% to limes.

The president of Asoex, Ronald Bown, said that "the stock of fruit preservation within that country could be affected, especially in the case of blueberries, which would improve our export season, especially because Peru's production has also been affected by climate events this year."

Source: El Mercurio

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