Chile: frosts damage citrus, avocadoes nearly in the clear
Recent Latin American frosts have not only paralyzed lemon export harvests in Argentina, but have damaged crops over the Andes in Chile too. Avocado crops have come out relatively unscathed along with mandarins, but other citrus fruits have not fared so well.
Market researcher iQonsulting says it will still be another week before the full magnitude of citrus damages are known with harvesting suspended.
"Despite grower expectations that the damages won't significantly affect projected export volumes for oranges and mandarins, there has however been a bigger damage with lemons," iQonsulting said in a report.
Around 50% of the season's forecast lemon crop has been harvested, but the remaining half has been affected in Chile's V (Valparaiso) and Region Metropolitana regions. The remaining harvest is expected to fall by around 35% as a result.
Late and mid-season Navel varieties in the VI (O'Higgins) region have been somewhat affected, with preliminary estimates forecasting a 5% production fall.
Chile's clementine season is almost complete so there will be no real changes to projected output. It is also expected late varieties like the Murcott have also not been very damaged.
IQonsulting has adjusted its national Hass avocado export forecast down from 120,000 metric tons (MT) to 116,220MT, but this still represents a 31% rise on last season.
There has been a slow accumulation of dry matter for Chile's avocado crops this season, with an overall average of between 18% to 21%, falling short of the 24% standard. However, growers in the IV (Coquimbo) and V (Valparaiso) have reached the dry matter percentage benchmark.
iQonsulting/ edited by www.freshfruitportal.com