Chile kiwifruit growers expect a tight market
Global conflict that is grinding logistics and brewing uncertainty, a drop in prices and consumption and high kiwifruit stocks in Europe are some of the obstacles facing Chile’s kiwifruit industry.
According to a statement, the president of the Chile Kiwifruit Committee Carlos Cruzat said that Europe is making steps to return to the rhythm of life as it was prior to Covid-19. However due to economic situations rooted in the pandemic, there is a drop of between 6 to 8 percent in the consumption of fruit.
This is in part due to rising inflation and food costs, but also that the eating habits associated with the lockdowns are not the same, and fruit is not the same priority as before, the statement said.
In terms of market conditions, Cruzat said that “in Europe there is a greater stock of fruit, as the local strategy has been to sell slowly and get better prices”. As of the end of February, 51% of the stock of Italian kiwifruit was available for sale, compared to 40% at the same time last year.
This amounts to a 25% increase in fruit stocks, which are slowing sales and pushing down prices.
“It is important to be aware that the European season will extend, at least, for one more month. Which means that our kiwifruit will enter more slowly,” Cruzat said.
Regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chile sent only about 5% of its shipments to Russia, which can be reassigned. But it also means that there will be more fruit in the market, accentuating the downward pressure on price. Especially from grower nations like Turkey and Iran.
He added that green kiwifruit from New Zealand, which has started its harvest, will also pressure Chilean fruit.
Shipping costs are another complexity, in addition to the bottleneck at ports, and there are no expectations that it will be alleviated this year.
The Chilean industry is expected to produce 155,000 tons of fruit.