The cherry season in the southern hemisphere is about to begin and it will be crucial for the Argentine, who had weather problems and a low level of exports in 2013.
Argentina's production of exportable cherry is located in Patagonia (70% -90%) and in the province of Mendoza. The plantations in northern Mendoza are about 2,400 kilometres away from the southernmost production centre in the province of Santa Cruz. This range of latitudes allows Argentina to have a prolonged harvest.
"The national harvest extends from the October and November, gets strong in December, continues during January and, in some cases, to early February," said Eng. Anibal Caminiti, who has specialized in the production of fine fruits and the development of projects in countries like Argentina, Chile and Peru since the 90s.
The bulk of Argentina's production clashes with Chile's production in the international markets but, according to Caminiti, this harvest season will start one week before planned, which will give them a key advantage.
"We can't compete with Chile's volumes, but we could adjust our logistics for the fruit of northern Patagonia, make shipments by air and make some revenue before the great Chilean volumes hit the international market," he said.
Last season, due to weather issues, Mendoza lost 80% of its fruit and Patagonia 50%, so the exported level was greatly reduced.
"The expectations for this season are very good, the weather has been good and we hope exports will improve in relation to the previous seasons so we can export more than 3,000 tons," says Caminiti.
In recent years the destinations for Argentinean cherries have shifted from the traditional markets, Canada, the United States and the EU, to Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, India, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The Chinese market still remains closed for Argentinean cherries; the national government, along with members of the industry are working hard on opening it.
"Entering China is our main goal, it is a market with many possibilities," he said and added that "Chile, for example, exported 68,000 tons last season and almost 75% of them were shipped to the Chinese market."
Establishing a protocol for cherry exports from Argentina to China is part of the agenda of both countries preceded by table grapes and blueberries.
Cherries, "The future in your hands"
The International Cherries Symposium, "The future in your hands", will take place on November 2 and 3 in Neuquen, Argentina.
"Patagonia has an exporter profile and the area planted is growing at a rapid pace, thus, the intention of the symposium is to support the private sector in all of the country's producing regions, analysing trends and innovations. This symposium will be attended by leading companies that will make presentations and colleagues from countries like Chile and Germany," he stated.
Anibal CaminitiPrograma Frutas Finas
Centro PyME ADENEU
M:+54 294 firstname.lastname@example.org