According to data provided by the National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (Senasa), Argentina exported 134,442 tons of pears and apples in the first quarter of 2021, i.e. 15% less volume than in the same period of 2020. Apple exports plummeted by 32%, reaching 22,200 tons, while pear placements fell by 10%, totaling 119,300 tons.
"We are seeing a fall in exports, but we must wait until the end of the four-month period to really know what this season's trend will be in terms of volume," said the General Manager of the Argentine Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers (CAFI), Marcelo Loyarte.
Most of the operators agree that the harvest and shipments started somewhat slowly this season, which could condition the statistics for this first quarter. However, there has also been a decrease in the volumes of fruit stored in cold rooms. This data is important as it defines the actual volume that the system will have to market throughout the season.
The destinations that had the biggest decreases in shipments between January and March 2021 were Russia and Italy. Russia purchased 31,000 tons of apples and pear, i.e. 25% less over the same period of last year, and Italy imported 14,300 tons of pears, i.e. 30% less than in the same period of 2020.
According to Loyarte, a few days ago, the Russian government stated that it was evaluating eliminating tariff preferences for pome fruits, which would affect Argentine placements.
Shipments to the domestic market increase
Meanwhile, placements to the local market have increased. According to data from Senasa, a little more than 45,000 tons of pears were directed to the local market in the first quarter of the year, i.e. 28% more than in the same period last year. Apple shipments remained stable at around 60,000 tons.