During the first four months of the year, Mendoza exported 105,061,968 kilos of primary products for 111,487,844 FOB dollars, i.e. 26.5% and 39% more in volume and FOB value, respectively, over the same period of 2019, according to ProMendoza data. This growth is explained, in part, by the increase in the volume of vegetable exports to Paraguay, as well as by the improvement in international garlic prices, with a 70% share of the FOB value of this item.
In terms of volumes, exports of tomatoes for fresh consumption increased by 372%, while pumpkins and zucchini exports had a 152% positive variation. Onion exports increased by 50% when compared to the first four months of 2019.
According to Mario Lazzaro, the manager of ProMendoza, 86% of exports of unprocessed vegetables (chili, pepper, cabbage, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potato, lettuce, tomato, and carrot) were destined for Paraguay. In fact, tomatoes accounted for more than 88% of the fresh produce shipped to this neighboring country.
However, the growth in the exported volume was not accompanied by improvement but by a fall in prices, since the volume of tomatoes sold increased by 372% and their FOB value only grew by 239%. The 152% increase in pumpkins and zucchini exports, for example, only translated into a 70% increase in dollars. Onion shipments increased by 50%, but only presented a 15% variation in income. In practice, with the devaluation, this may mean that the loss in value was not as marked or that it remained in pesos.
Even though exports of unprocessed vegetable had an overall improvement of 173%, the export volume of some products decreased when compared to the first four-month period of 2019: chili peppers and peppers (-10%), cabbages and cabbages (-27%), cauliflowers and broccoli (-34%), lettuces (-37%), and carrots and turnips (-95%).
81% of the onions exported were destined for Brazil and the remaining 19% for Paraguay. Guillermo San Martin, the manager of the Association of Producers, Packers, and Exporters of Garlic, Onions, and Related Products from Mendoza (Asocamen), stated that the producers who were dedicated to the production of this vegetable have good prospects to sell abroad. He also stressed that the area cultivated with onions in the province was much smaller than that of garlic.