Chile’s fruit exports to Europe fall 12% in three years

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Chile’s fruit exports to Europe fall 12% in three years

Chilean fruit exports to Europe fell 12% by volume in three years, according to Chilean daily newspaper El Mercurio.

In 2007-08, exporters sent 813,113 metric tons of fruit to Europe, compared with 710,236 MT in the last harvest.

Table grapes exports fell 21%, the biggest decline among all fruits. Apples, whose shipments to Europe represent one-third of production, declined 12%, while pear exports fell 16% and plums fell around 36%, according to data from Expordata quoted in the report.

Industry members say that the decline is due to the euro’s decline against the U.S. dollar and less fruit consumption during the economic crisis. The crisis coincided with two seasons of large fruit stocks and an increase in demand in Latin America and Asia, the newspaper said.

In fact, Chilean fruit exports to Asia have increased 23%, totaling 261,693 MT. In Latin America, the increase was almost 10%.

“For several years, the European market was … saturated. With the opening of Asia and the strong growth in Brazil, various growers have sent their fruit to these emerging markets. Not for nothing, 25 million cartons were exported to Asia and 30 million to Latin America,” Antonio Walker, president of fruit exporters group Fedefruta, was quoted as saying.

As for next season, projections are more auspicious.

According to Manuel José Alcaíno, president of Decofrut, inventories for Europe will be lower for the coming season, so Chilean fruit will have more space in the market.



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