Chile: Moderate damages from unusual Christmas rains -

Chile: Moderate damages from unusual Christmas rains

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Chile: Moderate damages from unusual Christmas rains

The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) has reported minimal damages in most crops from atypical Christmas rain, but the unusual weather has meant a lot of blueberries won't be fit for fresh exports and will be destined for processing. 

In an update, ASOEX president Ronald Bown said unusual rainfall affected parts of the country from the Region of Coquimbo in the north to Los Lagos in the south, with a "moderate impact" on in-season fruits such as blueberries, cherries, table grapes and stonefruit.

"In relation to export cherries no damages were registered as the harvest would have been practically over," Bown clarified.

He said there were not any major effects in stonefruit with the exception of white-fleshed nectarines - mostly destined for Asian markets - which could have spots due to the rain. 

The executive emphasized phytosanitary conditions would need to be strengthened for stonefruit with the appropriate treatments.

In table grapes, ASOEX Grape Committee president Fernando Sat said there would be little effect on volume as rains did not occur in the major growing areas like the Aconcagua Valley and Rancagua.

"However, as precipitations occur you have to make applications, and there could be losses from cracking and rot, mainly in the varieties Flame and Superior," Sat said. 

ASOEX Blueberry Committee president Felipe Juillerat said around two days of harvesting were lost in areas where rainfall hit, and like his colleagues he emphasized the importance of making the adequate treatments to protect the condition of the remaining fruit.

"A lot of fruit will have to be sent to processing as now it can't be exported fresh," he said, adding there had also been impacts from hails in the zone of Gorbea in the Araucania region.

Juillerat added the industry had so far shipped around 40% of its exports for the 2016-17 season, with more than 37,000 metric tons (MT) exported to different destination markets. 


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