In the current campaign (which runs from January to June) Peruvian exports of fresh pomegranates would reach 44,200 tons, i.e. 30% more than the 34,000 tons dispatched in the previous season.
This was stated by the general manager of the Association of Producers of Pomegranates of Peru (Progranada), Sandro Farfan Padilla, who indicated that this increase would be due to the increase in area and the higher productivity of the existing ones.
He also said that currently there were about 2,000 hectares of pomegranates for export, located mainly in the region of Ica, which is followed by Arequipa. The most exported pomegranate is of the Wonderful variety, accounting for more than 90% of the total.
Europe is the main destination of the Peruvian fresh pomegranate, he said, adding that, even though the had started to export the fruit to the United States in 2017, there had been no significant growth in that market due to the high cost of the irradiation treatment that market demands exporters conduct. In addition, the only plant that carries out such quarantine treatment in the United States is located in a place of difficult commercial access.
Opening new markets
Sandro Farfan stressed that in recent years Progranada had focused on opening new markets. In fact, he said, a delegation of the Chinese phytosanitary authority will visit Peru this week to perform access work for fresh Peruvian pomegranate to that market. The delegation will visit fields in Ica and Arequipa.
He also stressed that they were also working to open the markets of Mexico, Korea, and Japan, and that last year they had opened the Brazilian market for fresh pomegranate from Peru. In addition, Progranada has been carrying out tests to validate other quarantine treatments that allow opening more markets.
"The main idea is to export to new markets because in the last two seasons the prices have not been very good in Europe, which is our main destination (more than 40% of the fresh pomegranates coming from Peru are directed there). That's why we are very interested in opening Asian markets where there is potential for strong purchases due to the high demand for this product," he said.
The general manager of Progranates said the growth in area was slow because prices had not been good in recent years. "When an industry sees that there are markets to sell their products in, it obviously invests more and now we are focused on opening new markets."