Argentina: North Patagonia's pear and apple exports decreased by 17.4%

According to a report prepared by the National Service of Sanitation and Agrifood Quality's (Senasa), North Patagonia's Regional Center, pear and apple exports from North Patagonia in the first nine months of the year fell by 17.4% when compared to the same period of the previous year. 

In the first nine months of this year North Patagonia exported a total of 299,560 tons of pear and apples, while in the same period last year they exported 361,644 tons, according to Senasa. 

Between January and September 2017, apple exports from the High Valley of Neuquen and Rio Negro Exports to Germany grew by 40 percent year on year while exports to Canada fell by 70 percent. 

Meanwhile pears exports decreased by 15.74% as they went from 280.855 tons in the first nine months of last year to 236.635 tons in the same period of 2017. 

Apple exports decreased from 80,789 tons to 61,925 tons.

Exports have been declining since 2014, according to data from the Argentine Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers based on the implementation of the Vegetal Transit Document (DTV).

The data reflects the crisis that the sector is going through and reveals that this season's export levels are the lowest in the last 30 years. 

With the arrival of the new government also came the devaluation of December of 2015, that took the dollar from around 9 pesos to nearly 14 pesos, and the removal of taxes on foreign commerce. 

At that time, the new scenario changed the expectations of the sector. Unfortunately, the rise in costs ended up offsetting any possible benefit. 

Today the reality is that the exchange rate lag is hurting the activity again, and that there are few signs of change, at least in the short term.

Last year imports of apples reached 3,000 tons; this year, as there was little local production, poor quality, and high costs, purchases from third countries are expected to increase. 

Meanwhile, the government enacted a law declaring an economic, productive, financial and social emergency for one year in the pear and apple production chain of the provinces of Neuquen and Rio Negro.

Law 27,354, which was published in the Official Gazette in May, allows "the national Executive Power to implement special extension regimes for the payment of tax and social security obligations by the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) and the National Social Security Administration (ANSES)."

The norm, which was approved by Congress on April 26, also allows the national government to extend the validity of the emergency for the sector for one more year.

The law came from a project of Lucia Crexel, a senator from Neuquen, and obtained the support of large majorities in both houses of Congress.


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