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Rio Negro

Argentinian apple exports to Brazil down 65% in a year

The devaluation of the Brazilian Real continues. This week, it depreciated by another 2%, down to 4.05 units per dollar. Over the last twelve months it has lost more than 70% of its value.

A regional exporter, who at this time last year sold a box of apples in the wholesale market of São Paulo for 70 Real, was receiving around US$ 30 for his fruit. With the price still in Real, the same box today would yield US$ 17; a loss of US$ 13 per box in a season.

A direct result of the severe decline in returns is the drop in sales; so far this year, Argentinian apple exports to Brazil have dropped by 65% compared to 2014.

"Last year, the Rio Negro Valley led sales of imported apples in the Brazilian market. So far this season, Chile has shipped around 21,000 tonnes, compared to just 12,000 exported by Argentina," explained Jorge Cervi, director of Mario Cervi e Hijos SA.

The problem of fruit exporters in the Valley is that while the Brazilian Real has lost 70% of its value over the last twelve months, the Argentinian Peso has grown at a rate of 12% in the same period. In this sense, the loss of competitiveness has been remarkable.

With the second highest inflation in South America, only behind Venezuela, and with one of the most appreciated regional currencies against the dollar, the Valley is in the worst possible position, given the growing devaluation of its main trading partner.

Some of the regional operations with pears and apples with Brazil currently take a higher parity value than that set by the market as a reference price. This is done by the importer as a form of protection from devaluation if the operation is conducted in hard currency. If the deal is closed in Brazilian Real, the problem of cancelling purchases after more than 30 days falls on the exporter.

Given this complex scenario, sales of Argentinian pears in the Brazilian market have also dropped, although not as much as apples. "If the current issues affecting the Valley are not corrected, in a short time there will no longer be a market for us in Brazil," added Cervi.

In this context, the country will face great difficulties to export, although there will be a marginal positive effect: the falling price of some imported inputs.


Source: rionegro.com.ar

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