According to information compiled by the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa), Chile exported 119,000 tons of plums from January to May 2021, i.e. 4.8% less than in the same period of the previous year.
As in the two previous seasons, China was the main market for this fruit with 57,249 tons, accounting for 51.16% of total shipments. The United States ranked second with a 17.77% share and Brazil third with a 10.75% share.
They were followed by the Netherlands (4.75%), Mexico (2.97%), Russia (2.84%), and Canada (2.33%).
The export value of fresh plums stood at 161 million dollars FOB, i.e. 16.5% lower than in the same period of the 2020 campaign. Chinese imports totaled 89 million dollars and accounted for 58.46% of the exported value. It was followed by the United States with 23.6 million dollars (15.5%) and Brazil with 12.2 million dollars (8.21%).
The O'Higgins region generated the highest exports of fresh plums in the period analyzed by Odepa, totaling 85,345 tons, well ahead of Maule, with 18,468 tons, and the Metropolitan Region, with 11,156 tons.
Chile exported 44 tons of fresh organic plums between January and May of 2021. The Netherlands was the main destination for this fruit. The country exported 40 tons of organic plums to the Netherlands, i.e. 90.09% of the total exported, while the United Kingdom received 4 tons (9.91%).
The export value amounted to $12,406 in the Netherlands and $1,265 in the United Kingdom.
In 2013, the year of greatest export, the region with the largest production area was Maule, which exported 613 tons. As of 2020, only the Metropolitan region and O'Higgins produced organic plums for export.
Plum plantations (both European and Japanese) have experienced moderate growth in Chile in recent years. In 2004 there were 14,470 hectares of this fruit and in 2020, just over 15 years later, the number of hectares had increased to 17,110. 12,589 hectares corresponded to European plum and 4,520 hectares to Japanese plum.
The O'Higgins region accounts for most of the commercial area, with 11,487 hectares, followed by the Metropolitan region with 3,679 hectares, Maule with 1,704 hectares, and Valparaiso with 193 hectares. Coquimbo and Ñuble have less than 50 hectares of plum trees each.