The complicated international market outlook, strongly marked by the global expansion of the coronavirus, has caused a drop in Peruvian asparagus exports in 2020. According to the agricultural export management of the Association of Exporters (ADEX), in the first quarter of the year asparagus exports decreased by 16.6% amounting to 75 million dollars, compared to the 90 million obtained in the same period of 2019.
Between January and March 2020, the most important markets for Peruvian asparagus were the United States ($36 million) and Spain ($15 million), which together accounted for 68.2% of all shipments. The Netherlands also stood out with a 6.9% growth in shipments. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, and Belgium closed with decreases.
The prospects for Peruvian asparagus in the short term are not very favorable due to the few international flights, the rise in freight rates, and the difficult situation of international markets due to the COVID-19 crisis, ADEX stated.
"The situation is complicated, as international demand also contracted because restaurants, hotels, and similar businesses are closed. Additionally, and in order to reduce costs, buyers prefer to source from local production or from neighboring countries that have fewer cost overruns," they added.
Freight prices vary constantly depending on market demand. According to ADEX, a month ago prices stood at $ 2.50 per kilo, this week they fell to $ 1.85, and they are expected to continue falling.
"Faced with the lack of international flights, businessmen expressed their expectation that more airlines start flying in the short term to allow them to transport the asparagus at more competitive prices. Another option is to send their product by sea, but the product might not arrive with the best quality because of the long transit time this requires,” they stated.