Drought complicates Brazil's top mango and grape region

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Drought complicates Brazil's top mango and grape region

Although a stronger dollar has encouraged Brazilian fruit exports, drought in the northeastern region of the country has restricted volume, Ruralbr.com.br reported.

The Brazilian Fruit Industry (Ibraf) has recorded overall export growth in 2013 for the fruit industry. The nation's main sector for mangoes and grapes, however, has experienced complications.

Rio Doce export director Claudio Celso Piovesan said his company has experienced a 10% export decline year-on-year from January to September.

"Our problem was drought in the northeast, the region where we get our fruit from April to November. The fruit that we most export is mango, which is from there. The market was undersupplied during the drought and there wasn't enough fruit for export," he told the Brazilian publication.

Ibraf market intelligence director Cloves Ribeiro said the drought is one of the longest in the history of the northeast.

"Even for irrigated fruits, the prolonged drought can affect plant productivity. In 2012 there was a drought with no rains until December. If this year does not come with the pace we want, we are going to have production problems," Ribeiro said.

Nationally, however, Brazil expects growth for its fruit exports. Ibraf anticipates 4% growth over the previous year. Rio Grande do Sul has seen the greatest growth.

"We are in a recovery stage on the international market. We've had, since the crisis in 2008, a drop in export volume. In 2012, we had modest growth in exports, indicating recovery. The 2012-13 rates have been favorable for businesses with more volume on the international market," Ibraf said.



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