Harvest Trends week 40: avocados and cherries
Harvest conditions in the Southern Hemisphere week 40
The avocado harvest in Chile has remained slow. Contrary to what was expected, it has not had a steady rhythm, mainly because the internal market has remained attractive for growers, who prefer to sell their fruit in local supermarkets and outdoor markets. The exchange rate is even more disincentive for exports, as is the supply of California avocados, which have filled the U.S. market.
The quality of Chilean avocados appears optimal and the major worry in the industry is the availability of water for irrigation. As of week 38, shipments of Chilean avocados totaled almost 20,000 tons, in comparison with 70,000 tons sent to all markets during last season at the same date.
In Chile, the frosts on the Friday and Saturday of week 39 did not greatly affect cherry orchards. There was local damage in south central Chile, mainly in the foothills for several orchards with early varieties that were farther along in development. Currently, the earliest orchards have fruit and depending on the variety and area, are in flower. Sprouting and flowering are abundant due to sufficient cold hours, and expectations of high volumes of production and export are high, assuming no weather problems in October and November.
In Argentina, the Mendoza area also is seeing good flowering and an expectation of high exports for the same reasons as in Chile, sufficient cold hours and orchards that are coming off of a 2009-10 season of lower production. The season until now seems normal for Mendoza, in that it is the end of flowering. Farther south in Neuquén, the situation is normal and in los Antiguos, orchards just started flowering.