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Argentina: Prune prices doubled

Nevada Argentina S.A. It is an agro-business company, founded in 2000, specialised in the production and export of dried fruits. Its main product is d'Ente prunes, of the d'Agen variety.


D'Agen prunes

"Nevada Argentina's project was originally born in response to Europe's demand for prunes as input for the production of yoghurt. Starting from there, we have gradually diversified to various other sectors," explains Daniel Camacho, executive director of the firm.

"The second line in importance are cereal bars, in which we participate with nine fruits, including strawberries, blueberries, pears and apples; we also work with premium jam and breakfast cereal producers. We are the only processors offering a product that is 100% free of preservatives with a traceability system for pesticides."

For Nevada, the harvest starts in February and lasts about 40-45 days. According to Daniel, "in 2014, the season has been weak in terms of volume, as Argentina had problems with frost in September/October 2013. In a normal season, the country reaches a dry production of 40,000 to 45,000 tonnes (120,000-125,000 fresh), and in 2014 only 10,000 tonnes were harvested; 75% less and the biggest drop in 15 years."



According to the Institute of Regional Development (IDR), a production still below normal levels is expected for the 2015 season, although "it will be better than 2014's. An official in-depth harvest forecast for Mendoza will be published soon," affirms Daniel.

In terms of marketing, the Argentinian domestic market has little weight for the company. Daniel says that about 95% is exported, "and although companies like ours are more diversified, the domestic market may represent up to about 10%."

Argentina is, in fact, one of the world's leading producers, along with the United States, Chile and France, and, therefore, it is one of the countries defining the export markets. "We export mainly to Europe, Russia, Brazil and some Mercosur destinations," affirms Daniel.

As for the market situation since the introduction of the Russian veto, Daniel assures that "Russia has a very similar policy for this product with the rest of the world, and Argentina and Chile were already natural markets for it, although we have noticed a slight increase in demand."



With regards to prices, "the circumstances of the past three years, without normal harvest volumes at a global level, have led to shortages, and the price of prunes for export has increased from 20-25 dollars per 10 kilo box two years ago, to 40-45 dollars this season," explains Daniel.

Prices, in any case, are not a barrier to market entry for Nevada, as "the only barrier to our products is our being able to meet the technical specifications demanded by the end consumer. They are differentiated from commodity products, which reach different prices because their requirements are also different," concludes Daniel Camacho.


Daniel Camacho
CEO
Nevada Argentina S.A.
San Rafael – Mendoza - Argentina
T: (54-2627)441368/441378
dcamacho@nevadaargentina.com
www.nevadaargentina.com



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