Chile's nut exports to rise 50% -

Chile's nut exports to rise 50%

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Chile's nut exports to rise 50%

Chile's Subsecretary of Agriculture Alvaro Cruzat says the South American country could boost its nut exports by 50% in the coming years.

Cruzat told the Exponut Forum 2011 the surface area of walnut, almond and hazelnut plantations had doubled in the last decade, with production set to rise as a result.

Chile's Subsecretary of Agriculture Alvaro Cruzat

Cruzat says the country exports US$206 million worth of nuts annually, but as extra production from new plantations takes shape that figure could rise to around US$300 million.

Chilenut vice president Vittorio Bianchini told the conference Chile would likely export around 34,900 (MT) of nuts this year, representing a 17.9% rise on last year's figure of 29,600MT.

He estimates a growth path of 39,700MT in 2012, 46,172MT in 2013 and then 53,500MT in 2014.

Bianchini says Brazil buys 24% of Chile's nuts exports, followed by Turkey (20%), Italy (13%), Germany (10%) and Spain (6%), while total export values are US$157.95 million.

Including these major importers, Chile sells nuts to 38 countries and is now aiming to boost its presence in Russia, Japan and Eastern Europe.

ProChile subdirector Sergio Seguel says Chile is now the Southern Hemisphere's largest nut exporter, placing it in the top five exporters globally.

Chilenut president Juan Luis Vial says the nut industry is working together to establish a national brand to help promote its image in new and existing markets.

"Maintaining a level of quality is an indispensable pilar to meet the challenges of the coming years," he says.

Photo: Ministerio de Agricultura

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