According to the Peruvian Foreign Trade Society (ComexPeru), even though China is positioned as a large market for Peruvian pomegranates, its entry into that market could not be achieved last year because of the expansion of COVID-19.
“Pomegranate generates a lot of expectation. In 2019, the country was working to achieve its entry to China, which is the world's leading buyer of this product. Unfortunately, the visits of technicians to our fields had to be postponed because of the pandemic,” stated Rafael Zacnich, manager of Economic Studies at ComexPeru.
The pandemic put the entry of this fruit into the Chinese market on standby and interrupted the growth of exports. In the five years before 2020, exports grew by 18% in value and 26% in volume each year. Then, in 2020 they experienced a fall due to the pandemic. In fact, from January to November of last year, the country exported 37,221 tons of pomegranates for 64.7 million dollars, i.e. 9.1% and 5.6% less than in the same period of 2019, respectively.
The main destinations were the Netherlands, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
Zacnich said they expected that conditions to increase the investments in this product would be met soon, as Peru is competitive in the development of this fruit.
However, he said, the new agrarian law with higher labor costs could be harmful. "Several agroindustrial associations have stated that this 30% increase in labor costs could lead to the entry of other products and a loss of interest in pomegranates," he said.