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Argentina apples, pears, grapes to rebound in 2013

Coming off a lackluster 2012 season, apples, pears and table grape volumes from Argentina will likely return to more normal levels in 2013. While inflation has limited how much fruit has been shipped to other countries in previous years, short crops throughout North American countries are expected to buoy this year's Argentina exports.

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service report, the Argentina apple crop will rise to 1.03 MMT in 2013. That's mostly due to favorable weather during this year's growing season. Last year's crop was damaged by hail during harvesting.

For many of the same reasons, pear and table grape crops are expected to make gains in 2013. According to the USDA report, the 2013 pear crop is expected to be 820,000 MT and the table grape crop is expected to be 141,000 MT. Domestic consumption of apples is slated to be 130,000 MT, while domestic consumption of pears and table grapes is expected to be 130,000 MT and 91,000 MT, respectively.

While agricultural exports have been held down in previous years by high inflation, prodigious volumes of apples, pears and table grapes, coupled with short seasons throughout the Northern Hemisphere, will likely prop up exports of those commodities. Apple exports are expected to reach 200,000 MT in 2013, while pear and table grape exports are expected to go up to 430,000 MT and 50,000 MT, respectively.

Plantings for apples have continued the trend of the last few years by decreasing during the 2011/2012 season, while pear plantings have increased. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service revised their estimate of apple plantings for the 2011/2012 period from 30,000 hectares to 29,000 hectares, and it increased its estimate of pear plantings for the same period from 28,000 hectares to 29,000 hectares. This marks the first time in Argentina that the area devoted to apples is not larger than the area dedicated to pears.

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