Argentinian pome fruits and their prospects in Europe

In an interview with Portalfruticola.com, Marcelo Loyarte, executive director of the Argentinian Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers (CAFI), spoke about the current season, which is about to finish, and about the new opportunities opening up due to the Russian ban. 

"This season now finishing has been marked by lower export volumes. Smaller volumes were exported also at lower prices, mostly as a result of overstocking both in the EU and the United States," he pointed out. 

"The market demand was quite slow and, therefore, that resulted in lower volumes and prices. We are on the lookout to see how the next season will play out, as all data suggest that there should be a little more fruit next year," he affirmed, adding that "the next season will still take a while to arrive; we're just finishing up the 2013/14 campaign, so we'll have to wait and see."

Asked about his expectations and about how Europe's larger apple production would affect Argentina's exports, Loyarte remarked that "there is a strong connection between the existing fruit stock in the northern hemisphere at the time the southern hemisphere fruit arrives and prices. If there is much stock, either because sales were lower in the European market, or because of increased production, that has an impact on demand, and demand affects both volumes and prices, which is what we saw this year. We'll have to see how the conflict develops in the EU and what their stocks will be by the end of the year."

Regarding the Russian ban on imports of food products from the EU and the U.S., Loyarte said that so far there are some expectations, but several factors must be taken into account before considering an increase in the country's export volumes.

"Some expectations have obviously been generated from Russia's ban on EU and U.S. products, but these are still moderate. It's been a short time since the measure was implemented; however, we must wait and see what volumes they will demand and what our ability to supply them will be," he said. 

Another key factor to consider is that the fruit produced in Argentina at this time is for local consumption and for export to Brazil, so that prices in Russia should be high enough to consider redirecting exports.

Finally, asked about the possibility of starting to produce more fruit, Loyarte said it is a difficult choice and insisted that it is first necessary to ensure sufficient demand in order to prevent being left with unsold stock. 

"It's very difficult to increase the production from one year to another. The Valley is increasingly focused on the production of pears and new plantings have already been planned. It is worth noting that it takes five years before the plant becomes productive, and when planting more, you must be sure that there will be enough demand for it in the future," he stated. 

"Furthermore, you should also be paying attention to market behaviour. Fruit that is not going to go to Russia will obviously be shipped to other markets, and that can also complicate the results," he concluded.


Fuente: Fresh Fruit Portal

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