The Peruvian pomegranate season has drawn to a close with export volume up by more than half to 27,512 metric tons (MT) shipped in the first half, with a value of US$59.4 million.
He also described supply and demand to be at “healthy” levels for the campaign that starts in January and starts to wrap up around June.
“It is a relatively long season, with different characteristics in every part,” he said, adding peak volumes came between weeks 15-20.
Bentín explained Russia and Europe had been the most important markets this season.
This was the first year of pomegranate exports to the U.S. market as well, where some small volumes were sent.
“That is typical of a new market, you get to know it little by little. It’s still in development so I don’t have an opinion with regard to the U.S. market,” he said.
He highlighted the industry has a wide diversity of markets, also shipping to Asia, the Middle East, the U.K. and Canada.
Marketing campaigns are not carried out as Bentín said pomegranates were still a relatively niche item.
“I think pomegranate consumers basically have an interest in a healthy lifestyle, and there are also consumers with the cultural heritage of pomegranate consumption, mainly Asians.
He believed Peruvian pomegranates were approaching their maturity, as knowledge grows both at the grower-exporter level as well as in the markets.
Prices for the season had typically been between US$6-13 per 4-kilo box, according to Bentín.
The industry is also in the process of trying to open up some key Asian markets – South Korea, Japan and China. Bentín said there would be big opportunities in the latter as Peru would be able to supply fruit during the off-season.