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Argentina depends on imported apples for first time

This year, for the first time in a decade, Argentina has had to import foreign apples during the harvesting season. The slump in the top fruit sector caused 37 per cent fewer apples and 15 per cent fewer pears to be exported during the first quarter of 2017. Export volumes are currently at the lowest level in 30 years, according to NFO, based on figures from the Argentinian government.

Total foreign import of apples only amounted to 195 tonnes (172 tonnes from Chile and 23 tonnes from Ecuador) in the first quarter. Compared to use, that’s not much, but it’s noticeable that the country imports apples from abroad during the harvesting period for the first time in 30 years.

During the first three months of the year, Argentina exported 16.5 million kilos of apples and 124.1 million kilos of pears. The most important buyers are Russia, Brazil and the US.

The devaluation that took place with the coming of the new government in 2015 is one of the causes of the crisis in the fruit sector. Because of the unfavourable exchange rate, export markets disappeared. In part thanks to problems with the codling moth, the apple export to Brazil dropped by 70 per cent, while Bolivia and Paraguay bought 20 percent less apples. Argentinian fruit growers also suffer because of the strong power of the unions.

Source: NFO

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