Slight production rise expected for Peruvian asparagus in 2011 -

Slight production rise expected for Peruvian asparagus in 2011

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Slight production rise expected for Peruvian asparagus in 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecast Peru will produce 360,000 metric tons (MT) of asparagus in 2011, representing a 0.58% rise of 20,000MT on last year.

A USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report said the U.S. would account for 72% of Peru's asparagus exports.

"Favorable weather and more planted area will drive this increase. Production area is estimated to be 32,000 hectares in CY. Average yields are slightly higher than 11 tons per hectare. Total asparagus exports in CY 2011 are expected at 210,000MT, a 12 percent increase compared to the previous year," the report said.

"The booming industry has managed to recover from low international prices and reduced demand that resulted from the international financial crisis. Post forecasts that asparagus production in CY 2012 will remain about the same.

"In the past decade, average yields have increased sharply, due to the use (sic) better technology (efficient fertilization and nutrient supply through water) and a through knowledge of the crop. Asparagus producers in the Ica region (south of Lima) are usually more efficient. However this region is undergoing a severe water scarcity that may hamper the viability of the agricultural sector as a whole."

In terms of destination markets the U.S. is followed by the Netherlands (11%), the U.K. (7%) and Spain (5%).

"Peruvian producers usually begin exporting their crop to the United States market between mid June and September at prices ranging from $14 to $16. Some producers even try to hold as much of their crop as possible for Thanksgiving or Christmas when prices are the highest."

Photo: Camposol

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