Chile’s 2019/20 apple and pear crops are projected to fall due to a decline in planted area and drought. Fresh apple exports are expected to total 650,000 tons, down 3.5%, while fresh pear exports will drop 11% to 117,000 tons, according to USDA data. The top markets for Chilean apples are Ecuador and Colombia. Fresh Chilean apple exports to the US were down 23.2% due to the larger US crop.
Chilean apple exporters are currently focusing their marketing efforts on Asian markets where they hope to secure higher prices. Drought conditions in 2019/20 limited production volumes. The Maule region, which represents 60% of the apple planted area, has seen shrinkage of 3.4% for the past three campaigns. However, the main reason for the decreasing trend in apple planted area is the crop’s low profitability compared to alternative crops such as cherries, walnuts, hazelnuts and blueberries, for which demand is high on world markets.