Chile's farmers to compete with California nuts in Asia -

Chile's farmers to compete with California nuts in Asia

Today's Headline
Chile's farmers to compete with California nuts in Asia

Chile’s nut industry looks to expand its horizons to Japanese and South Korean markets, as growers association Chilenut forecasts production will double by 2015.

Chilenut President Juan Luis Vial told that he expected production to reach 64,000 metric tons in 2015, which means tapping new markets and strengthening existing ones is critical if these increased volumes are to be sold.

Chile’s main nut export markets are Spain, Italy, Germany, Brazil and Turkey but opportunities abound in Asia, which is monopolized almost 100% by Californian nuts – products Vial claimed are of lower quality compared to Chile’s handpicked nuts.

“Chile has enough product volume secured and basically, until today, the current markets took all of that volume,” he said.

“In that time it was not very tempting for anyone to devote significant volumes to Japan because they all had their markets.”

This attitude will likely change if more than 30,000 MT are added to the annual crop, but for Vial the big question was whether the industry could have the capacity to harvest such large amounts by hand.

“We would have to invent or develop a system of machinery that picks the fruit better,” he said.

Vial didn’t think reaching this goal should be too difficult, especially as picking times are during mid-year when there is more labour available.

Chile’s nut exports grew by 300% between 2000 and 2009.



Subscribe to our newsletter