The financial crisis unleashed by the global coronavirus pandemic has reached the Argentine fruit sector of the Rio Negro Valley. This week, the Brazilian currency reached record lows, falling below 5 reais per dollar. A similar situation is observed with the Russian ruble reaching 75 units per dollar.
Brazil, the main commercial partner for the Valley within Mercosur, imports about 30,000 tons of apples and about 100,000 tons of pears. Last year, 16,000 tons of apples and 80,000 tons of pears were shipped to Russia. Both markets account for nearly 50% of the total exportable supply of fruits of the Rio Negro Valley. Therefore, the devaluation of their currencies represents a significant loss of earnings for exporters who place their fruits in both countries.
So far this year, both the real and the ruble have lost about 25% of their values. In this same period, the Argentine did so at a rate of 5%, well below those guaranteed by the Central Bank of Brazil and Russia.
In addition, in this first quarter, both countries project cumulative inflation of nearly 1%, while Argentina estimates more than 5% in this same period.
The combination of the devaluation in the destination countries and the rise in local internal costs further deepens the crisis of the Valley's fruit sector.