Argentine Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers (CAFI) executive director Marcelo Loyarte told Fresh Fruit Portal the country began exporting Royal Gala four weeks ago.
Loyarte said the harvests were looking good this year but he could not give a total production estimate at this early stage.
He also said that lower temperatures and higher humidity over recent weeks had improved fruit color and quality.
The crop may be slightly smaller in some production areas, but it should not be a problem for the sector, he said.
“In general there is going to be less fruit but of a higher quality,” he said, adding that exports had begun at “a good rate” this season.
Loyarte hoped not to see a repeat last year’s oversupply situation, believing that lower volumes of fruit in export markets this year would benefit the Argentine industry.
Frosts in spring last year severely affected European apple production, leading to some of the lowest local volumes seen in years.
“We can see it being beneficial, but obviously we will only know when the season ends. I don’t think it will be a bad year, but we always need to be cautious,” Loyarte said.
He said Brazil has traditionally been an important destination for Argentina, but that over recent years Chile has taken much of its market share.
“We hope that we can recover some of the exports in this market, especially taking into account this year’s year,” he said.
“I don’t believe we will get back to the numbers we had before, but we do believe that there are going to be more exports to Brazil, mainly due to the higher quality”.