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Chile: Despite super harvest cherry producers can't cover their costs

This season's so-called super harvest of Chilean cherries, which lead to an increase in exports of more than 100%, lowered the producer's average return for a second consecutive year. In addition, since the size of the fruit harvested was smaller, producers were paid less and couldn't cover production costs.

The Liquidation Analysis that Fedefruta carried out this year for the cherries marketed by exporters detected that the this fruit's net return per kilo stood at US $4.16, i.e. one dollar less than in the previous season and 1.5 dollars less than in the 2015-2016 campaign.

"We expected prices would reach that value, or even less, due to the notable increase in the volume exported," said Alfredo Garcia, who was in charge of this study for Fedefruta. "However, the worrying thing is that we discovered that the shipment of smaller sized cherries can lead to economic losses for producers," he said.

This, as producers received returns of US $1.08 and US $2.28 per kilo for the 22-24 mm and 24-26 mm cherries, respectively, while the average annual cost of producing them amounts to US $2.93. Meanwhile, the average price achieved by the medium calibers, like 26-28 mm, only amounted to US $3.7 per kilo, which means producers had a profit of less than one dollar.

The Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta) will present these results next Tuesday, August 21, at its Rancagua Regional Meeting, which will also include a direct export workshop where experts will give tips to maximize the profits of the largest calibers. The workshop is being carried out because of the upcoming Business Round of Fruittrade, where producers will be able to achieve higher margins of profitability in cherries, independent of the volumes achieved each season.

Representatives of CIREN and ODEPA will reveal the results of the Fruit Cadastre of the region of O'Higgins in the Regional Meeting of Fedefruta, which was organized with ProChile and Frusexta. In addition, Martin Silva, the adviser and director of Uvanova, will make a presentation about the situation of the new varieties of table grapes in Chile and in the region, and the need to reconvert plantations in the fruit industry to continue to be competitive in the markets.


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