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Argentina: Table grape exports fall again because of the exchange rate lag

Last year the export of fresh grapes from Argentina collapsed because of the loss of competitiveness caused by the exchange rate lag. This year, they've dropped again due to the poor harvest achieved after the heavy frosts in late 2013. 

So far this year, Argentine exports of table grapes have amounted to 11,897 tons and generated $19.7 million dollars. 

Exports in the first nine months of 2013 totalled 27,281 tons and $43.5 million dollars. In the same period in 2012, exports amounted to 42,675 tons and $68.4 million dollars. 

The main export destination in 2014 so far is Russia with 3,241 tons (27.2% of the total declared), followed by Germany (23.0%), Brazil (22.4%) and the Netherlands (port Rotterdam) (17.4%), among other markets. 

The main companies that reported exports of fresh grapes so far in 2014 have been Expofrut Argentina, Leviand, Conosur Exporter and Distributor, Argengrapes Group, Andes Food, Eloy Guerrero Agricultural Industries, Sánchez Amezcua, Consofrut, Sudfruit and NatuFrut. 

The fresh table grapes produced in Argentina's Cuyo region (mainly in San Juan and Mendoza) require a high labour component and inland freight (both of which have been growing in recent years at a much higher rate than what is registered by the nominal exchange rate). 

In this scenario, some companies from the Cuyo region stopped their table grape production converting them in raisin generating units, which require less labour and have a much lower cost. 


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