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Chile projects a decrease in the volume of marketable dried plums

According to the first projections of the 2018 dried plum season, there will be 70,994 tons of marketable fruit, which only includes the sizes that can be processed and exported (there is a difference between the marketable fruit and the harvest fruit, which amounts to a higher volume). The marketable harvest of 2017 was 73,700 tons.

"This year's harvest is very delayed, so we can't make an accurate analysis about the quantity we'll obtain (projected tons)," said the president of Chile Prunes, Pedro Pablo Diaz.

There's been a delay in production from Santiago towards the south, and a considerable delay in the VI Region -in the area of Graneros and Santa Cruz, which is the largest producer of dried plums in the country. In Santa Cruz, for example, the harvest began in the last days of February. Usually, it starts in the first two weeks of February. "In short, the harvest in some areas will start in the second week of March and in the beginning of the third week," he said.

The calibres are expected to be of average sizes in different areas, and bigger sizes in other areas depending on the pruning and thinning made by producers, stated Pedro Pablo Diaz.

Producers also expect there will be about 20% less fruit than what was projected.

A few days ago, the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies - Odepa -, released the official data of Chilean dried plum exports in 2017: US $175 million, which is 11% higher than in the previous period, when exports amounted to US $157.9 million.

In 2017, Chile exported 76,515 tons of dried plums, i.e. 9.1% more than the 70,105 tons it exported in 2016.

In addition, "dried plum exports reached 80 countries for the first time, surpassing the 77 nations registered in 2015 and 2016, which shows that our industry is making great efforts to diversify our shipments to new markets", added Andres Rodriguez, the executive director of Chile Prunes.

Source: SimFRUIT with information from Chile Prunes

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