Chilean fresh fruit exports rise despite adversity

Countries Top Stories
Chilean fresh fruit exports rise despite adversity

Chilean fresh fruit exports experienced a 5.1% volume increase in 2013, outpaced by dried fruit with 24.6% growth, according to the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policy (Odepa).blueberries_square

Blueberries led the way for growth in fresh fruit exports with an 18% increase, followed by mandarins and clementines (11.6%), plums (10.3%), apples (9.3%), pears (6.9%), table grapes (5.4%) and oranges (1.6%).

In dried fruit, unshelled hazelnuts experienced the greatest export growth at 51%, followed by unshelled walnuts (34.5%) and shelled walnuts (28%).

Export growth came despite weather complications that took a serious toll on several species and production zones.

"These negative climatic conditions, which also meant delays in fruit development, were compensated by good conditions during the harvest season for apples, kiwifruit, pears, plums and table grapes. This last one, however, experienced condition problems in some production zones," the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture said.

"As these are the main species for export volume, they have allowed recovery and volume increase in shipments during the period under comparison."

Chilean Minster of Agriculture Luis Mayol highlighted the importance of the results, given the adversity faced by the industry over the past year.

"This significant growth came under conditions with a low exchange rate, high cost of energy, drought in the northern and central regions, labor shortage and a port strike in March. This reflects a high level of maturity in the Chilean fruit industry today," Mayol said.

"The great increase in dried fruit exports in 2014 ... is in line with the considerable expansion of walnut and hazelnut plantations, which allows continued growth in these species in the medium run."

Total value of fresh fruit exports rose 6.4% to US$4 billion, while dried fruits grew 23.7% to US$341 million.


Subscribe to our newsletter