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The first shipment will leave the airport of Neuquén on Friday

Argentina: Cherries directly from fields to Hong Kong

The provincial government of Neuquén will send its first export of cherries via air on Friday.

According to the Minister of Territorial Development, Leandro Bertoya, 100 tons of cherries, from Neuquén and Rio Negro, will be exported to Hong Kong on Friday night via the Aerolineas Argentinas airline.

A simulation that took place late last year, for which they had to readjust a hangar, preceded this export.

The goal is to reach international markets without going through Buenos Aires.

Currently, the region of Patagonia exports about 70 percent of its fruit by air, via the Ezeiza International Airport. North Patagonia leads national exports this way with 47% of total exports. Being able to send direct flights from the international airport of the city of Neuquén is important as it would allow producers to position their fruits in international markets a few days before Chilean cherry producers and get the best prices.

During 2011 and 2012 the region of Alto Valle exported some 960 tons of fresh cherries and, as their volume increases every year, they expect to export 3,000 tons in the current 2013-2014 season.

The Patagonian region accounts for 66 percent of exports of this product at the national level, which in 2011-2012 amounted to 2,936 tons.

Argentine exports of fresh cherries increased 12.4 times in the last 20 years, from 142 tons to 1,759 (1994/2013), having peaks of up to 2,732 tons (2010) and ranking tenth in foreign exchange revenues in fruit exports, with 8.61 million dollars (2013); much of which has been due to the incorporation of new technology for the Patagonian cultures.

The regional harvest between October and December (the period of highest concentration) allows the sector to address international markets with good prices and to provide Chinese markets at the end of the year holidays and in spring. This usually happens between January and February and is the best time of the year for sales of cherries in that market.

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