Peruvian pomegranate volumes set to rise in 2018
The first Peruvian pomegranates of the season are making their way to the Northern Hemisphere markets following the fall harvests that kicked off in late February.
Industry association ProGranada vice president Miguel Bentín said everything was pointing to a 'calm' season, which he said was running slightly later than last year.
He said concrete production forecasts had not yet been established but predicted volumes could see a sharp increase from last year's 24,000 metric tons (MT).
Fruit quality is also very good this year, he said. The Wonderful varieties represents the majority of the crop.
"Russia and Europe are the most stable markets for Peruvian pomegranates, but there has been some growth in the Middle Eastern market, as well as small growth in Asia," he said.
After the country shipped its first pomegranates to the U.S. last year, Bentín anticipated growth would continue in the market but not at a significant level given the fruit is shipped under an irradiation protocol with only one plant in Mississippi carrying out the treatment.
He said Europe would remain the industry's leading pomegranate market by far.
"The idea is always to have as many destinations as possible, giving us more opportunities to diversify the market," he said.
Bentín added his objectives included raising awareness of the fruit's health benefits and also finding success in the Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets.