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Argentina: Apple exports to Brazil fell by 58.4%

Apple exports to Brazil between January and August of this year fell by 58.4 percent when compared to the same period in 2016, stated the General Farmers' Chamber of Agricultural Producers, who also warned about the lack of competitiveness of Argentina's fruit production when compared to that of Chile.

Argentina exported 6,647,870 kilos of apples to Brazil between January and August this year, while in the same period last year, the country exported 15,992,984 kilos, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec). 

Jose Alberto Garcia, the president of the General Roca Chamber of Agricultural Producers, said that "this is because we are not as competitive as Chile, as their production costs are 50 to 60 percent lower than ours."

That means, he added, that there is a $5 to $6 dollars price difference per box of the same quality.

"The main problem we have in the regional economies, from 2007 onwards, is that we have a lot of tax pressure, and the costs of transportation, intermediaries, and fuel are high," Garcia said.

In addition, he said there had to be a change in the commercial policies of fruit growers because the costs of producing fruit in Patagonia required intensive labour during the harvest, while producers in the humid Pampa only employ one worker per thousand hectares and use a lot of machinery.

Garcia also said there had been a decline in the juice industry, which uses fruits that can not be placed on the market because they were battered, or were too small in size.

"Poland is shipping juice to the United States, our main buyer, at a price twice as cheap as the one we produce in this area," he said.

Discarded apple juice represents 40% of the total production of the Alto Valle de Rio Negro, and 95% of that production was sold to the United States, which has now stopped buying from Argentina, to sweeten soft drinks.

Source: mdzol.com

Publication date: 10/18/2017


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