The average values of the apples for export from the Rio Negro and Neuquen Valley that the regional companies have declared show that there is a significant drop in prices this season. During the first four months of the year, the average prices reached 0.69 dollars per kilo, i.e. 10% less than in the same period of 2019, and 35% lower than in the first four months of 2018, according to data from the National Customs Administration (ANA).
This price level is as low as it was in the 2008 season. This is not very encouraging data considering the evolution of the cost structure for this activity in the period under analysis.
In addition, the volumes exported in 2020 are far lower than the volumes shipped in the past. In the first four months of this year, a total of 40,000 tons of apples were exported to 17 different destinations around the globe, while in the same period of 2005 apple exports exceeded 160,000 tons and were sent to 35 destinations.
Other producing countries are not displaying this downward trend in prices. For example, the average reference value of Chilean apples in the first four months of the year stood at $ 0.85 per kilo, 20% above the Argentine FOB price for this fruit.
Two out of every three kilos of apples that were exported from the Rio Negro and Neuquen Valley this season were destined for the markets of Russia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. All of them are high-risk collection and demand markets that generally do not demand high levels of quality. The remaining third was oriented towards Europe. This commercial matrix will no doubt affect the possible returns that producers can obtain from their exports.
The markets of Europe had the best prices for the region's apple exports this quarter. The averages in the United Kingdom and France stood at nearly $ 1.22 and $ 1.13 per kilo FOB, respectively. However, the average FOB values achieved by the fruit in Paraguay, one of the main destinations for Argentinean apples, stood at $ 0.20 per kilo and a floor of $ 0.16.