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Francesco Bassi (Agrintesa)

"Italy: "Abate pears doing better, though still slow on the US market"

After the inspections carried out by Aphis, the container of Valfrutta Abate pears is ready to leave for the US. "The US were considered a salvation in such a year as this, but results will actually only come in the long term," explains Francesco Bassi (in the photo), deputy director of Agrintesa.

"Last year, we did a lot in order to be able to enter the American market, but we did not have enough volumes. Results weren't great but it was to be expected the first year. The country is a big pear producer and still does not recognise our Abate variety."

"This year, we are quite calm, as we know this won't be the only market to solve our problems. Investments are necessary in our sector, but results are often obtainable only in the medium-long term."

This year, pear exports to the US had to deal with the fact that local production was abundant and, therefore, prices were rather low at 70-80 cents per kg. "We just can't sell Abate pears at such prices!"

In the meantime, though, there is good news on the European and domestic market, as "demand is good and prices are on the up."

Things are good particularly in Germany and France, but small quantities have also been shipped to North Africa. "We are more penalised in Northern Europe, where pears from the Netherlands are very competitive."

"As regards the other varieties, there are few Decana pears, so retail and wholesale prices are more or less the same. Quantities of the Conference variety are also low and we are waiting for peaks in the second part of the season. The Kaiser market is more difficult, maybe because of bigger grades. Decana pears probably have the best prices but, if we manage to achieve the expected results wit Abate pears, the season might still be a good one."

Francesco Bassi
Via Galileo Galilei, 15
Faenza (RA)
Tel.: (+39) 0546 619111
Fax: (+39) 0546 621270
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