Official statistics indicate that the values of apples and pears in the international markets are at their lowest in recent years. The apples' average FOB value in the first four months of the year stands at 0.65 dollars per kilo. This figure reflects a 6% drop over the same period of the previous year and a nearly 40% collapse over the first four months of the 2018 season.
According to different regional businessmen consulted about this important drop in the value of the apple for export from the Rio Negro and Neuquen Valley, this trend is due to three main factors: the slowdown in consumption in the destination markets, the production of a supply with low demand, and some companies' fraudulent practice of under-invoicing the product.
The pears' FOB values have fallen by 13% so far this year
The situation isn't much better for pears. During the first four months of the year, Argentina exported 185,000 tons of pears at an average FOB value of 0.69 dollars per kilo, i.e. 13% lower than in the same period of last year.
"The pears' problems in foreign markets are known to all. Placing them in the markets costs more by the year, and this is reflected in the final prices that the product achieves,” stated a regional exporter who preferred to remain anonymous.
It should be noted that Argentina is the world's main exporter of pears, something that, in this context, generates a lot of uncertainty throughout the Valley. In 2020, pear exports amounted to just over 340,000 tons, while apple exports reached 110,000 tons. In other words, 3 out of every 4 kilos of fruit exported from the Valley correspond to pears.
Everything indicates that this trend will continue this year, although with downward projections –both in terms of values and volume– when compared to 2020.
“The pear market in the Valley is in crisis. We should rethink the way we seek to partially reduce this production until we find a new balance,” the aforementioned source stated.
According to the projected export values and volumes for both fruits, in 2021 the Valley region will earn about 60 million dollars less than in the previous year.