Pear and apple exports of pears from the Valley of Rio Negro and Neuquen to overseas markets amounted to 40,598 tons in the first two months of the year. This is nearly 16% less than in the same date of the previous year.
The data comes from a recent report prepared by the North Patagonia Port Terminal, which takes the external sales that depart from the Rio Negro port of San Antonio Oeste and the pier of Bahia Blanca. These two points of departure concentrate more than 80% of the total fruit export from the Rio Negro Valley and Neuquen to overseas markets.
The report points out that pears exports in this period totaled 38,500 tons, i.e. nearly 13% less than in the same period of last year. Apple shipments reached a little over 2,000 tons, that is 50% less than in the first two months of the 2018 season.
Russia imported 13,200 tons of pears, concentrating 33% of the Valley's exportable offer in these first two months of 2019. It was followed by Italy with nearly 11,000 tons and a 27% share of the total shipments of this species. The United States followed with 15% of all purchases of pears from the region.
For most of the operators, this drop in shipments was essentially due to two causes: the lack of size of the fruit and nearly 15-day shift of the crop over the previous year. "The shipment levels in this first two months were within the forecast. But the closure of the border with Brazil changes the scenario so there could be a noticeable growth of oversea shipments in March," said an important businessman when asked about the issue.
The season didn't have the best start. As a result of the recent reinstatement of export rights and the fall in reimbursements, the private sector of Rio Negro and Neuquen Valley's fruit system transferred nearly 1,800 million pesos to the State. This is a substantial amount, especially when taking into account the structural break affecting the activity and the lack of financing to face a new harvest in a complicated year, commercially speaking.