According to a recent report prepared by Rio Negro's Fruit Growing Secretariat, at the end of the first semester of 2020 the region had 158,440 tons of apples in cold storage. This figure represents a 16% year-on-year drop, which offers good commercial expectations for quality apples in the second half of the year, in the absence of changes in product demand.
The fruit trade numbers for the first part of the year complement and certify, in a certain way, the coldstore fruit data. Apple exports remain stable (with marginal growth), sales to the domestic market grew by 30%, and the apple that was oriented to the industry showed a strong rebound.
According to official statistics, nearly 72% of the stored apple corresponds to the Red Delicious variety and its clones. Just over 20% of it is of the Granny Smith variety, and the remaining is of minor varieties.
As of June 30, there were 32,600 tons of Granny Smith stored, a figure that reflects a year-on-year jump of nearly 70%. "I see no problems for the apple that isn't red, but there is a lot of Granny Smith and there are likely to be some drawbacks," said the secretary of Fruit Growing of Rio Negro, Facundo Fernandez.
Pears, somewhat more complicated
The stocks of pears stored in the cold storage amounted to 114,400 tons at the end of the first half of the year. This is the highest volume in the last decade and represents a nearly 10% year-on-year growth.
According to the report of Rio Negro's Fruit Growing Secretary, more than 60% of the pears stored are of Packham´s variety. There are about 24,000 tons of the D'anjou variety in stock, i.e. 40% more than on the same date last year. The amount of William's in store also increased by forty percent and reached 16,500 tons.
Given the volumes in storage, the head of Fruit Growing highlighted the increase in costs that this type of storage entails. “Nowadays, 30% of the value of the fruit that comes out of the chambers is used to pay for its cold storage. A good apple can be purchased for 30 pesos, 9 of which must be used to pay for its cold storage," Fernandez said. “The cost of energy is 65% more expensive today than last year. If this trend continues, market prices will slow down and it will take a greater proportion of the value of the product to pay for its cold storage as we get closer to the end of the year.”