Argentine pome fruit yield strong prices abroad

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Argentine pome fruit yield strong prices abroad

The Argentine pome fruit sector has experienced an "unusual situation" this past season with price rises of 7% and 9% for pears and apples respectively, according to one industry leader. manzana y pera_27640276 _ small

Argentine Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers (CAFI) executive director Marcelo Loyarte told that 2012 was a difficult year, but record prices were seen in some markets in the season to July, 2013.

"Depending on the market and the variety, the sales increase for apples has been between 8-9% and in the case of pears, the increase has been between 6-7%," Loyarte said.

The executive attributed this to an "absolutely extraordinary year" with low production, but the jump in value was not enough to make up for cost strains.

"If one looks at the evolution of the fruit industry in the region during the last six years, costs - in dollars - increased between 130-147%, while prices grew approximately between 60-70%, for example half the costs.

"So, this year the situation was unusual and there was good demand, but prices, despite being good, were not sufficiently good to cover the rise in costs."

CAFI said that growers and exporters were taking the possible measures available to overcome this significant challenge.

"What the whole sector is trying to do is focus on two lines: one one hand, we need an estimate of fiscal policy, in such a way that there will be some incentive to be able to recover the levels of competitiveness that we had at one moment.

"On the other hand, every company is searching for the way to make the integrated chain the most efficient as possible, going from production through to commercialization."

When asked about the current situation for pome fruit, the executive highlighted the importance of Brazil during the second half of the year and the concern that the neighbor's currency devaluation had caused as it directly impacts Argentine exporters.

"This is a very particular market. For us the second half of the year it is very important because it's almost the only place we export to, so there is an expectation that revolves around the evolution it will have in the coming months.

"What worries us in the case of Brazil is that the currency has been devalued, which has an impact on prices as for an importer it costs more reals to buy Argentine fruit, but surely this is something we'll see in the coming weeks.

In terms of the Russian market - one of the most important for Argentine pome fruit - Loyarte mentioned the situation was unusual there as well, in the sense that fruit values actually decline.

"In the case of Russia, this country had a very unique situation as a very large volume was already destined for this market. That's why, when speaking about price behavior, it's difficult to make a definitive conclusion because there are different markets with different behaviors, and different varieties that behave in a different way.

"That is the case with Russia, where prices practically did not compare to other markets in Europe or Brazil, as there was a greater competition."

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