Argentina's apple, pear exports may drop despite production gain
The pear harvest started in Río Negro and Neuquén this month, and the apple harvest will start in February. Production is expected to increase by 23.9% compared with last season, according to government estimates released in December. Quality is also expected to improve.
But production costs have increased 25% on average, and demand has dropped, causing a crisis in the industry, the newspaper reported. Last year, apple exports decreased by 13.4% and pears by 12%, according to a shipping report from the San Antonio Este port quoted in the newspaper.
In 2010, 101,419 metric tons of apples were exported, compared with 117,132 MT in 2009. For pears, 224,243 MT were shipped in 2010, down from 255,079 MT in 2009. The main export markets are Russia, the Netherlands, Italy, Algeria, the U.S. and Belgium.
The sector could have a deficit of US $80 million, said Carlos Colavita, secretary of Fruticultura de Río Negro, an industry group, according to the website.