Argentine citrus exports nosedive in 2012

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Argentine citrus exports nosedive in 2012

Argentine citrus exports have plummeted this season with oranges recording an 88% year-on-year decrease and lemons a 64% drop, website reported.

The Argentine Citrus Federation's latest weekly reports also show mandarins posting a 41% year-on-year decline.

The figures are even more dramatic when compared with 2010 displaying a 91% drop in oranges, 72% fall in lemons and  54% decrease in mandarins, the story reported.

Paradoxically, this shipment decline comes at a time of record citrus yields due to advanced treatments and favorable weather conditions.

North East Argentine Citrus Exporters Chamber of Commerce executive director Dr Mariano Caprarulo, said the European crisis and loss of competitiveness were the main reasons for the shrinkage.

"The current scenario puts corporations in an extreme situation, drowned out by the increasingly high internal costs in an international context that does not help," he was quoted as saying.

"There is no longer any more time. Urgent measures need to be adopted, to at least halt the sharp decline in exports and loss of markets, which took many years to achieve and will take many more to try and recover."

He said his organization had been working with national and regional governments on a medium-term strategic plan for oranges and mandarins over the next five years.

However, while authorities had been willing to meet and discuss various courses of action, this had not translated into "specific measures".

Caprarulo said the country's main competitors had the advantage of more favorable exchange rates, free trade agreements and strong state support for producers.

Related stories: Delays for Argentine lemon harvests

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