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Argentine pome may be pulled by the Russian crisis

According to Argentina's Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers (CAFI), the picture for next season is very complex. CAFI estimated, as a result of the crisis in international markets, a higher stock of fruit in the northern hemisphere, and an expected increase in production in the southern hemisphere, losses would amount to at least $190 million dollars.

Another variable, some entrepreneurs said, was that the official dollar would grow at a slower pace than the increase in domestic costs, as has happened in previous seasons. This year however, it will have a greater impact because of the international situation.

One of the most worrying scenarios is the Russian market, which is very important, only 2nd to Brazil for pears and apples in the region, and accounts for 20% of pome exports with 120,000 tons. "It's hard to imagine today what kind of operations can be done with Russia," acknowledged the members of the CAFI in a press conference on Tuesday. They also stated that the most negative assessment involved a financial impact that was higher than 60 million dollars.

Russia was, for the past 10 years, a source of funding to cover the costs of the season as funds arrived fast. Fruit producers in the region are uncertain in light of the difficulties faced by Russia.

"The economic crisis and the acceleration of devaluation in Russia makes us doubt that we can export 120,000 tons to them or redirect our fruits to other markets," stated Oscar Martin, president of CAFI, and Marcelo Loyarte, Executive director of CAFI, in a report. Regarding the domestic economic situation, Martin recalled that in recent years "the inflationary process has generated an increase in costs that was not accompanied by an equal increase in the amount of income." Up to now, he said, producers had coped with this situation because there had been a growth in sales values in the markets, a fact that began to change in the 2013-2014 season.

Martin said that, in face of this uncertainty for next season, they had sent the report to the national and provincial officials so that they could understand the situation and can be convened to discuss possible measures to sustain the productive structure of the region.

When asked about alternatives, Martin said there was "a need for an adequate provision of credit assistance, with terms and conditions consistent with the sector's economic and financial situation, as well as an improvement on the economic equation so the fruit can be marketed with a margin of profitability."




Source: Rionegro.com.ar


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