The Latin American market has changed the outlook of the Portuguese apple season, says Joao Juma, export manager for Portuguese apple exporter United Growers: “Local apple stocks are starting to reach a very low point, as most of the Portuguese apple producers decided to take advantage of the good momentum of Latin American imports. Some companies have kept fruit for their local programs, but looking at the exports, it seems that from January onwards we won´t see much movement.”

It won’t come as a surprise that the significant increase in exports to Latin America came at the expense of the export volumes towards the company’s traditional markets, Juma explains. “As United Growers, our exports were definitely stronger to Latin America this year. However, the exports have been reduced dramatically in our traditional markets, being the Middle East, India and other Asian markets. Overall, Portuguese apple exports increased significantly, due to prices of Brazilian imports.”

Demand from the Latin American market should be dropping in a couple of weeks, as the apple season there will start, Juma states: “Step by step, the demand for Galas is slowing down as Latin America will start their season in a few weeks. However, there is still good demand for Fujis and Granny Smith. Looking at the Portuguese apple season in general, the prices in the local market are good, but it doesn't absorb all the local production. Therefore there is still the importance of the external markets.”

Overall, Juma looks back at a great season, given the new markets they’ve been able to export their apples to. “I can say that we have achieved successful results in some new markets in Latin America, such as Costa Rica or Uruguay. That being said, we still need to develop some target markets, such as Colombia and other markets that we are aiming for, like El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.”

For more information:
Joao Juma
United Growers
Tel: +351 910 645 600