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Chile’s grape production continues decline

chile grapes

In the past five years, Chile’s table grape planted area declined, but the decrease has slowed down since 2015/16 and the planted area in 2017/18 totalled 48,202 ha. One reason for the shift away from producing grapes is the declining profits they can secure in export markets in the face of increasing competition from abroad and higher expectations of quality, calibre and new varieties.  This means table grape producers must convert their orchards to more modern varieties and that requires capital investment. Chile’s first table grape harvest takes place in November and December in the northern regions of Atacama and Coquimbo, where water availability used to be an issue. However, the abundant winter rainfall in 2017/18 replenished reservoirs to almost maximum capacity and the next five campaigns look secure.

Around 80% of Chile’s table grape production is destined for export. In 2016/17, exports were up 6.4% from the previous year to 731,156 tons. The number-one market is the US, accounting for 47% of the total shipments. Grape exports in 2017/18 are projected to drop 1.5% from 2016/17 to volume of 720,000 tons. The peak export month is expected to be April, according to data from ODEPA.

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Mushroom production in Russia has been growing steadily

Mushroom production has been growing dynamically in Russia, informs Interagro Company basing on its industry and market researches. Thus, mushroom production has doubled during last two years, reaching 20,000 tons by the end of 2017. The experts believe this figure will double again by the end of 2018.

Product embargo introduced by Russia in 2014 became the key factor influencing the development of the industry. Since then, several modern full-cycle mushroom complexes have been being built. The leaders of the industry are Green Line and Russian Mushroom in Krasnodar and Agrogrib in Tula regions. Estimated aggregate production of Russian growers might be 55,000 tons in 2018.

The Ministry of Agriculture is going to invest more than 50 million euro into various projects for modernization of old complexes and building of new ones. However, there are some impediments for the implementation of those projects, believes Andrey Funk, head of mushroom sector of Interagro; some of them are lack of up-to-date technologies and shortage of domestic specialists. Currently Polish specialists have been sharing their experience and teaching Russian staff.

Iteragro is a developer of special agricultural projects in Russia.

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Adverse weather leads to Poland’s apple production plunging by 34.7% in 2017

manzana polonia

In 2017, following a record harvest in 2016, Poland’s overall fruit production plummeted by around 34.7% to 2.7 million tons. The dramatic drop in production was mainly due to frost damage and difficult conditions during the final harvesting phase. However, conditions differed greatly from orchard to orchard, even within the same fruit farm. According to GUS data, Poland’s total apple production was almost a third lower than during the previous year – 2.4 million tons. Nevertheless, where frost damage did not occur, there were instances of high yields and good fruit quality.

The scale of loss depended on the plantations’ varieties, age and location. The least affected varieties were Champion, Gala and Gloster, while the most affected variety was the Idared, which is the most produced apple in Poland. On some plantations, losses reached nearly 100%, but in general, there was just a lower amount of fruit on trees. In many cases, poor fruit quality was also recorded as the fruit was misshapen by the frosts and, in some places, by hail, diseases and pests. There were reports of physiological and fungal diseases.

As for other fruits, Poland’s pear production was similarly affected, with a 32.3% lower harvest than the previous year. Plum volumes were almost half the level of 2016, while cherry production was over 60% less than in the previous year. Apricots and peaches also suffered a heavy toll from the adverse weather conditions according to the Central Statistics Office.

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Asia drives continued rise in global demand for pineapple

Worldwide demand for pineapples continued to increase between 2009 and 2016 and is the fastest growing fruit for the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco. According to market researcher IndexBox, the international wholesale market for the tropical fruit reached US$14.9 billion in 2016. Since 2009, the pineapple market has seen an average annual growth of 3.3%, although in 2017, this growth slowed somewhat. The growing demand, especially in Asia, means that the segment’s value is only likely to increase further, with the strongest consumption growth being seen in China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. The same trend is likely to occur in Latin America as living standards rise across the continent with population increases and consumer trends shifting towards adopting more healthy lifestyles. There is also an increasing demand for canned pineapples worldwide, especially in the Philippines, Indonesia and China. The forecast for the coming years is for the segment’s growth to be 2.9% between 2016 and 2025, to reach volumes of 34.2 million tons.

Brazil is the world’s largest pineapple consumer, consuming 11% of the world’s supply, followed by the Philippines and Indonesia (8% each), India (7%); China (6%); Nigeria and Thailand (5% each); and Costa Rica and the US (4% each). Ghana recorded the fastest growth in pineapple demand between 2007 and 2016 (38.4%), followed by Angola (28.3%). the Dominican Republic (23.4%) and Costa Rica (22%). Highest annual per capita consumption was recorded in Costa Rica (242 kg), Angola (31.1 kg), the Philippines (21.2 kg) and Thailand (20.6 kg per year).

In line with the growth trend of the past nine years, global pineapple production rose to 26.9 million tons in 2016. The world’s biggest producer, Costa Rica, accounted for 12% of total production in 2016 (3.2 million tons), followed by Brazil and the Philippines (10% each), Indonesia (8%), India (7%), and China and Nigeria (6% each).

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US citrus output set to fall by 21%


The decline in US citrus production shows no sign of abating. This campaign’s crop of 6.2 million tons is expected to be 21% lower than last season. The reduction in output is common to all of the major citrus fruits, with orange and grapefruit the most affected. Indeed, orange production is set to fall by 25% and grapefruit volumes by 22%. Likewise, the decline is common to all of the four largest producing states, with Florida being the most affected due to the damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma. The low supplies are leading to higher citrus prices in the domestic market.


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Italy’s orange production forecast to fall by 10% in 2017/18 campaign

naranja italia

Europe’s second largest orange producer, Italy, expects to see drops in production of orange and tangerine by 10% and 5% this campaign compared to 2015/16 mainly owing to the summer drought.  Late September rains helped the crop recover and develop a high-quality product and medium calibres. Meanwhile, the country’s lemon production is forecast to remain stable.

The main orange varieties grown in Italy are Tarocco, Moro, Sanguinello, Naveline and Valencia, but Ippolito and Meli are also developing a market. Rainfall in September and October 2016 led to Italy’s 2016/17 orange production surpassing the 2015/16 levels. Fruit calibres and quality were excellent. The country’s production calendar was extended by the addition of high-quality new varieties.

In 2015/16, Italy’s orange imports plummeted by 33% to 145,733 tons, mainly as a result of a drop in shipments from Spain (-51%). Italy’s orange exports in 2015/16 rose by 18% to 143,796 tons, mainly thanks to a sharp rise in demand from Germany (+27%), Switzerland (+11%), Austria (+23%), and France (+43%).