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Peru: Asparagus is the most exported product by air

Cargo transportation by air in Latin America has entered a phase of stability, and this includes Peru, which in 2015 recorded exports totalling 174,000 tonnes, and according to LATAM Cargo PerĂº, this volume is expected to increase in 2016.

The commercial manager of LATAM Cargo PerĂº, Carlos Repetto, mentioned that this stable market has forced airlines to take steps to become more competitive, and in the case of LATAM Cargo, these are supported on three pillars: the company's commitment in the region, promptness in the service and reliability.

"These are very important for us, given the competitive situation, and we always put the customer first, as a focus. We have worked very closely with customers in the most important countries in the region and Peru is one of them," he stated.

He said that, in Peru's case, asparagus is the main product exported by air and contact has been established with the customers making these shipments, in order to adapt their services to better meet their needs.

"The air cargo sector is quite specific; it is devoted to perishable products and, at South American level, we have the flowers that go to North America or Europe, as well as food products, such as the asparagus, mangoes and blueberries shipped from Peru or the salmon exported by Chile," he explained.

By products
Repetto said that if we compare the air shipment export figures in 2014 with those of 2015, one can see stability, with a total of approximately 174,000 tonnes, according to Customs data.

"Of this total, asparagus exports represent about 127,000 tonnes, which is 72%, making it the main product exported by Peru via airfreight," he said.

He recalled that asparagus is a highly perishable product and that the market demands a fresh product, so the export by air is perfect for this item.

"The asparagus is usually shipped to the United States; I would say that 70% of the total goes to that country, and the remaining 30% goes to Europe, and a little to Oceania and Asia," he pointed out.

Another product that is usually exported by air from Peru is mangoes, with shipments totalling between 10,000 and 11,000 tonnes, but another one currently recording strong growth is blueberries.

"We also have pomegranates, ginger, strawberries and textile products being shipped by air," he said.

Towards the end of 2016, he explained that there are variables that could alter the outcome of shipments, and in the case of asparagus, these are mainly meteorological factors that could affect their production.

"In the case of Peru, we believe that we could see growth (of airfreight) driven by the blueberry sector, which has been recording very strong growth. Even though it is a sector that usually exports by sea, its air shipments are also noteworthy," he stated.

He explained that a 234% growth was achieved in the volume of blueberries exported by air in 2015 alone, and a "significant growth" is likely to be recorded also this year, due to the ripening of crops and the new plantations becoming productive.

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