In Marketing Year (MY) 2019/20, Chile’s fresh apple and pear supplies dropped due to a decline in planted area and drought. Post estimates that fresh apple exports will total 650,000 MT (metric ons), a 3.5 percent decrease over MY2018/19, and fresh pear exports will decrease by 11 percent and total 117,000 MT. In MY2019/20 table grape production remained unchanged over MY2018/19, thus exports are expected to reach 657,000 MT.
In MY2019/20, Chile’s apple planted area totaled 32,371 hectares (ha), which represents a six percent decrease over MY2018/19 (See Graph 1). As a result, Post estimates that production decreased by 5.4 percent totaling 1,134,650 MT.
Drought conditions in MY2019/20 limited production volumes. However, the main reason behind the decreasing trend in apple planted area, and thus production, is the profitability of the crop, which is low compared to alternative crops (cherries, walnuts, hazelnuts and blueberries).
Chile’s table grape planted area in MY2019/20 remained unchanged and totaled 47,834 ha. Notwithstanding that Chile is going through an 11-year drought period, which has intensified in MY2019/20, table grape production remained steady and reached 835,000 MT.
Many table grape producers have access to water reservoirs. They also have adopted measures to increase their productivity, including drip irrigation systems, private water reservoirs, and the use of modern varieties that adapt well to water stress conditions.