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Argentine lemons to land in China finally

Argentine lemons to land in China finally

 

After protracted negotiations lasting 15 years, Argentine lemons have finally been granted access to the Chinese market. Argentina’s agriculture minister, Luis Basterra, and deputy minister of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), Li Guo, signed the phytosanitary protocol in Buenos Aires in 17th December to give the go ahead to exports of the prized Argentine citrus fruit, which is emblematic of the country. Guo highlighted how China wished to continue strengthening the bilateral relationship with Argentina.

Argentina is the world’s fourth biggest producer of fresh lemons and leading processor of lemons. Last year, the South American country exported 250,000 tons of lemons, mainly from the Tucumán region.

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Closer ties between Argentina’s blueberry sector and China

Closer ties between Argentina’s blueberry sector and China

 

A delegation of Chinese fruit importers met Argentina’s leading blueberry producers in Tucumán to strengthen ties between the two countries. The Tucumán government’s website reports that representatives of Kingberry, Earlycrop, Hortifrut Expofresh and Futucuman were present at the meeting with Chinese buyers Altaifresh Limited, Shanghai Mirong Fruit Co. Ltd. and Grupo Freshport, who were treated to visits of farms and installations. The first five pallets of Tucumán blueberries were shipped to China in at the end of September. The new Argentinian blueberry campaign has got off to a positive start with favourable weather conditions in both Tucumán and Concordia. Volumes are expected to be similar to last season’s levels of between 14,000 and 15,000 tons.

Photo: beltandroad.news

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Argentine fruit sector welcomes lowering of export tax

Argentina’s fruit industry has received a welcome boost with the news that the country’s export tax is to be cut from 4% to 3%. The move is aimed at making the South American giant’s products more competitive on the world’s markets. The reduction applies to 207 products, including fresh fruit.

The tax was first imposed in January 2018 in a bid to offset the country’s trade imbalance in the light of a weak peso. According to Diario de Rio Negro, the tax break is estimated to save the fruit industry US$19.1 million, including US$11.9 million in the pome-fruit-growing region of Rio Negro alone. The region exported around US$400 million of fresh apples and pears in 2018.

It is expected that the fruit sector will now be pressing the government to eliminate the export tax altogether.

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Argentina to ships lemons

Argentina’s lemon producers have gained access to the lucrative Indian market. As of 2020, the South American country’s lemons will be able to enter India, following the signing of a protocol agreement between the two countries. A new brand “Frutas de Argentina” has recently been launched to promote Argentine lemons in the Indian market. And there is more good news for the Argentinian produce sector: India will also be receiving Argentine chia from next year.

Argentina’s lemon producing area is mainly concentrated in the north-west of the country. Last year, it exported 280,000 tons, while this year’s shipment volumes have so far reached 190,000 tons. The season is due to end in August.

 

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Drop in Argentina’s apple and pear crops

Drop in Argentina’s apple and pear crops

Argentina’s fresh apple and pear crops are estimated at 590,000 tons and 600,000 tons, respectively, as the decline in planted area continues. Fruit quality and calibre were negatively affected by poor growing conditions (excess rain, hail and high humidity). According to USDA data, exports are expected to be down to 90,000 tons for apples and 290,000 tons for pears, as a result primarily of the large Northern Hemisphere crops and the lower competitiveness of Argentine exports.  These drops in production follow on from a 2017/18 season in which output rose from 520,000 to 560,000 tons for apples and from 550,000 to 580,000 tons for pears. 

Apple and pear production is concentrated in Patagonia’s Upper Valley of the provinces of Rio Negro (85%) and Neuquen (12%), with the other 3% located in the Valle de Uco in Mendoza. The main apple varieties are Red Delicious (64%), Granny Smith (14%), Gala (13%), and Cripps Pink/Pink Lady (6%), while the main pear varieties grown are Packham’s Triumph (41%), D’Anjou (24%), Williams (16%), Abate Fetel (6% percent), and Bosc (5% percent) (Source: Top Info Marketing S.A.). Around 11% of the 42,000 hectares of apples and pears are certified as organic.

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Brazil to reopen borders to Argentina’s apples and pears

Brazil to reopen borders to Argentina’s apples and pears

Following several weeks of closure, Brazil has agreed to lift its ban on Argentinian pears, apples, and quinces entering the country. The agreement was reached during meetings on Wednesday, March 6, between officials from the two countries seeking a resolution to the issues which led to the border closure on February 27. Brazil’s Department of Plant Health and Agricultural Consumption intercepted 9 shipments of Argentinian fruit with carpocapsa in January and February.

Technicians from the National Plant Protection Directorate of Senasa explained how it intends to strengthen pest control in the Alto Valle. Industry representatives claim that only 500 of a total of 1,200 officially recognised producers in the Upper Valley of Rio Negro and Neuquen currently comply with all the control regulations. However, the government of Rio Negro disagrees with this assessment: “There are very few producers that do not carry out controls and there are 3,000 hectares of abandoned fruit trees; that weighs more than inefficient controls,” said a provincial source to Telam, as reports clarin.com

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Brazil closes border to Argentinian apples and pears

Argentina’s apple and pear exports rise despite smaller crop

Brazil has stopped imports of apple and pears crossing into the country from Argentina’s provinces of Río Negro and Neuquén due to pest detections in shipments of fruit. Codling moth larvae was reported to be found in several loads of apples and pears. Meanwhile, Argentina’s phytosanitary agency Senasa is negotiating with Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture to enable shipments to resume as soon as possible. Senasa is also working with the affected growers and exporters and taking steps such as closing production sites and packhouses. These incidents echo a similar occurrence in 2015, when Brazil suspended market access for Argentine fresh apples and pears for several weeks following codling moth detection.

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Argentina to export citrus to India and Vietnam

Argentina to export citrus to India and Vietnam

The Indian and Vietnamese markets have opened to Argentine lemons, although phytosanitary protocols still need to be settled before exports can begin at the end of the 2019 campaign. Argentina is working on lowering the tariffs required by India, which currently stand at 30%. As a result of this tariff, India will not immediately become an important market, but in the long-term, given its enormous population, Argentina spies great prospects on the subcontinent. For now, Indians are not used to consuming yellow lemon, but rather a kind of lime, similar to the Tahiti lime. Therefore, as consumer trends change, the prospects for Argentina’s lemons will improve. Meanwhile, Vietnam has lower tariffs and more established consumption patterns.

 

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Argentina expects higher lemon volumes in 2018/19

Argentina expects higher lemon volumes in 2018/19

Argentina’s fresh lemon crop is expected to recover in 2018/19 and reach 1.6 million tons, up from 1.5 million, due to good weather conditions during the season. Genova and Eureka are the main lemon varieties grown in Argentina. Lemon exports are set to increase to 290,000 tons, After regaining market access in 2017, Argentina exported 10,640 tons of fresh lemons to the US in 2018, with exports in 2019 expected to continue an upward trend.

However, orange output is predicted to fall to 500,000 tons and tangerine volumes will drop to 280,000 tons, due to falling competitiveness on the world markets and the trees are expected to cycle through a lighter fruit blossom. Orange and tangerine exports will decrease to 50,000 tons and 30,000 tons, respectively.

 

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Argentine cherries land in China

Argentine cherries land in China

On January 8, 2019, the first shipment of 160 tons of Argentine cherries was shipped to the Asian giant. In 2017, China imported US$771 million of cherries, representing 31% of the total volume of imports worldwide. Its main suppliers were Chile and US.

During the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2018, the governments of China and Argentina signed a series of bilateral agreements, which included the opening of the Chinese market for cherries. Adolfo Storni, president of Cerezas Argentinas, said, “It has been a season with positive and negative aspects. One positive aspect is that the international market has had good prices. As every year, Chile focuses its exports on China, and then leaves us the quality markets of the US, Canada and the EU. On the other hand, Argentina, specifically Río Negro and Neuquén, have had rains before and during the harvest which affected production, leading to an estimated drop in exports of 20% in 2019. Unfortunately, this has been happening quite often in recent years due to climate change. What’s more, tax policies imposed in Argentina led to an increase in costs and therefore much lower profitability than expected.” Regarding the opening of China, he stressed that this is a great achievement: “We are all aware of what this means. The potential for the development and growth of Argentina’s cherries is enormous. We will have to work hard to achieve the quality, calibre and colour standards that Chinese consumers want, but we understand that Argentina has an excellent product and, after a couple of years, we should be a more important player.” Argentina faces certain trade restrictions that put it at a disadvantage compared to its competitors when it comes to reaching international markets, such as the lack of Free Trade Agreements. Argentina’s cherries face levies of 12% to enter the EU and 10% to enter China. In contrast, Chile reaches both destinations with a 0% tariff.

The first export, of eight containers of fruit from establishments in Río Negro, Neuquén and Chubut, went by sea via the Pacific and was supervised by the Chinese phytosanitary technicians, who approved compliance with the agreed protocol. There is still the possibility of exporting by air and reaching the Asian markets before the end of the year where better prices are obtained. In March, another delegation of Chinese technicians will visit Argentina to make progress on that issue.

Cerezas Argentinas S.A. and Frutos de los Lagos make first shipments to China

Cerezas Argentinas SA, located in the area of ​​the Central Valley of Río Negro in Patagonia (fly-free region) is distinguished by its fruit’s sanitary standards, outstanding quality, excellent size, colour and sweetness. Together with other producers from the area, it has made one of the first official exports to China. “China is the main importer of cherries worldwide and the strengthening of our commercial relationship with this country will allow us to consider it our main market in the future,” said Adolfo Storni, president of the company. He also stressed: “This first export is the result of joint work between entities in the sector: SENASA, the Ministry of Production and Labour of the Nation, the Argentine Embassy in China, the Foreign Ministry, CAPCI, the producing provinces, national government entities and the private sector.” Cerezas Argentinas and Frutos de los Lagos packed one container each of the Sweetheart variety, a late variety with an excellent dark colour. The fruit is very firm, has a high sugar content, and very good conditions for travel in containers. Frutas de los Lagos has a plantation of 128 hectares strategically located in the productive valley of the department of Sarmiento, in the province of Chubut, surrounded by the natural resources of Argentine Patagonia, whose geoclimatic conditions are very favourable for organic agriculture. Storni said, “We are the only company certified organic in Argentina.” Frutos de los Lagos currently has a production capacity of close to one million kilos of fresh cherries, most of which are destined for export. It has its own packaging plant, equipped with Unitec machinery, from where 2.5kg and 5kg boxes are packed, with the possibility of dividing into individual bags for those markets that require it, such as the US.