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Argentina’s organic apple exports fall while pear exports rise

Argentina’s organic apple exports fall while pear exports rise

 

The EU (specifically the UK and Germany) and the US have been key markets for Argentina’s organic pears and apples in recent years. In 2018, 17,000 tons of organic apples were exported to global markets, down 10% from 2017, due to higher Argentine prices relative to other exporters.  While the US market for Argentine organic apples is projected to continue to grow, the rate of growth will slow as the US expands its own organic apple production.  Exports to the EU are projected to remain stable. In 2018, organic pear exports reached 28,000 tons, up 17% from 2017.

In contrast with the general decline in fruit consumption due to the downturn in the Argentine economy, there has been an upward trend in the consumption of fresh organic products, such as fruit and vegetables, especially in more affluent areas of Buenos Aires. 

Organic Production

In 2018, there were 4,700 hectares (11%) of organic apples and pears in Argentina. In Rio Negro and Neuquen provinces, organic acreage fell by 27%, as the higher production costs of organic apples meant they were particularly impacted by the broader crisis affecting the fruit sector (Source: SENASA – National Service of Agricultural and Food Health and Quality).  

 

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Citrusvil’s campaign progresses at a steady pace

Citrusvil’s campaign progresses at a steady pace

Rapid action against COVID-19 allowed the company to quickly adapt to continue operating within the restrictions implemented.

The spread of the Coronavirus reached Argentina at a key moment for local citrus farming. Just as Citrusvil was preparing to start the 2020 campaign, the company found itself facing an unexpected situation, which led it to rethink its actions and adapt its facilities to keep production processes active and redouble efforts to keep collaborators safe.

Citrusvil started the season with the objective of exporting 40,000 tons of fresh fruit. Considering that this year, its farms are offering a better quality of lemons thanks to continuous improvement in management, added to the good weather, the company can continue providing customers with the products they require and fulfil all commercial commitments.

The first shipments were mainly destined for the markets of Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, Canada, the Far and Middle East. Around the middle of April, the firm started shipping to Europe and the United States, where the aim is to triple export volume from last year. At the moment, Citrusvil has exported around 14,000 tons to all destinations, which represents a significant step towards achieving its goals.

“However, we are aware that the season is complex and uncertain, since we must consider different variables that come into play based on the pandemic, in addition to internal and external competition,” said Francisco Rotella, Citrusvil’s fresh fruit commercial manager.

On the one hand, although there has been an increase in demand for lemon, due to the importance of Vitamin C for strengthening the immune system and the need for the population to stay as healthy as possible, there was also a sharp contraction in consumption in the food service channel, a critical sector for the food industry, which represents 40% of consumption in Europe, and 60% in the US.

On the other hand, South Africa has entered the fray, and aims to export a volume of 400,000 tons of lemons this year, compared to the 300,000 tons that Argentina seeks to reach. Finally, although Spain will have a lower production, it continues to play an active part in the European market.

“Taking into account the volumes already shipped by the Southern Hemisphere (Argentina and South Africa), and considering the potential of these origins, it is not clear how consumption will be affected by post-COVID-19 tourism activity, especially in Europe, which is a key market for us, accounting for 60% of lemon shipments ,” said Rotella.

Regarding industrial production, Citrusvil started the season with a goal of processing 250,000 tons of fruit. The strict protocols established by the company in order to ensure the continuity of its operations allowed it to start the season in a timely manner, and progress correctly with production, to the point that to date it has processed 90,000 tons.

“This volume is above what was initially projected, which gives us to understand that, despite the limitations generated by the pandemic, the company is moving firmly and positively towards the proposed objective,” said Alex Nolte, commercial manager of Citrusvil.

Although a 10% decrease in lemon production at the national level was initially expected, as the season has progressed, it appears that the reduction will be even greater than initially forecast. However, the drop in production in Spain suggests that there is the possibility of sending more juice to different markets.

Unlike fresh fruit, juices have not had the same impact on sales growth, despite also containing vitamin C. Still, it should be noted that for Citrusvil, the market for this product is recovering, and that sales of peel and oils are developing at a good rate.

“There are many diverse external factors that interfere with our operations today, which is why we must try to anticipate the inconveniences in order to minimise the impact that they could have on our organisation,” said Nolte.

Global uncertainty is generating unpredictable buyer behaviour, which makes long-term planning difficult and challenges the company to rethink its strategies and be more creative on a day-to-day basis.

Meanwhile, Citrusvil continues to work to ensure the responsible sourcing of its supply chains. The firm is always focused on research and innovation to improve its product portfolio and develop new solutions that meet the specific needs of customers. At the same time, it takes care of the health and integrity of its collaborators, suppliers and consumers.

 

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Argentina’s apple and pear exports rise despite smaller crop

Argentina’s apple and pear exports rise despite smaller crop

 

Although Argentina’s 2019/20 fresh apple and pear productions are projected to decrease to 480,000 tons and 550,000 tons respectively, the lower fruit supply in the Northern Hemisphere is set to boost exports during this campaign, according to USDA data. Apple exports are forecast at 100,000 tons and pear exports are projected to reach 300,000 tons. 

Argentine apple and pear exports are primarily destined to overseas markets in the Northern Hemisphere (mainly Russia, the EU, and the US) in the first half of the year, while later in the year, exports are oriented toward Mercosur countries (mainly Brazil) and other Latin American markets.  The United States is a relatively stable market for Argentine apples and pears, especially for organic products. For 2018/19, exports totalled 111,000 tons (+15.9%) for apples and pear exports reached 310,000 tons (-3.2%) (Source: USDA). 

The main apple varieties in production are Red Delicious (64%), Granny Smith (14%), Gala (13%), Cripps Pink/Pink Lady (6%) and others (3%). The main pear varieties are Packham’s Triumph (41%), D’Anjou (24%), Williams (16%), Abate Fetel (6%), Bosc (5%), and others (8%). (Source: Top Info Marketing S.A.)

Photos: http://www.cafi.org.ar/

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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.