Summer rains 'not welcome but not complicated' for Chilean grapes
The Chilean fruit export sector is concerned about the effects of rains that hit growing regions from Coquimbo to Biobio over the weekend, but producer group Fedefruta claims growers were well prepared.
In a release, ASOEX president Ronald Bown said the weather event would alter the normal development of the current fruit season once again, leading to extra costs for growers.
"This adverse weather situation for the export fruit industry implies stopping harvests for at least a day, and undertaking preventative applications against fungus diseases in all fruit plantations," Bown said.
"Together with this situation, on the United States East Coast there have been large snowfalls that are leading to stoppage of port, transport and trade activities, which affects fruits that have recently arrived on this coast, as well as those that are ready to be dispatched to distribution centers or are to be unloaded from ports in the Philadelphia area."
However, Fedefruta director Cristián Allendes was less alarmed by the event, highlighting growers had gotten used to summer rains and therefore there wouldn't be any negative effects of great significance.
"In general there weren't any great problems. Just in the variety Flame, which is in full harvest, there could be some splitting," he said.
"It is now usual that there is some rainfall in this period and as growers we were prepared and applied, as it was already known the rain was going to come.
"Rains are never welcome, but I also don't think they are so complicated."
According to ASOEX figures for the 2015-16 season to date, there have been 486,582 metric tons (MT) of fruit sent to different markets, representing 10.31% less year-on-year.