Fruit losses from freezes in Chile in September could be less than first thought.
Total volumes in the 2013-14 season could be down 13 to 16%, according to a new estimate from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX). That’s down from an October estimate of a 22% reduction made by Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture.
Exports to the U.S. could be down 13.3%, according to ASOEX.
Kiwifruit was the hardest hit fruit, with losses estimated at 60%. Stone fruit volumes could be down 49% and pears 37%. Volumes of grapes, Chile’s top fruit export, are only expected to be down 6 to 9%.
ASOEX did not have estimates for the declines in volumes of individual fruits shipping to the U.S.
About 819,000 metric tons of fresh fruit worth $1.22 billion were exported from Chile to the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
In October, Ronald Bown, ASOEX’s president, said the prolonged period of freezes in September was “unprecedented in recent memory.”
Through Dec. 7, imports of Chilean blueberries, cherries and peaches were down season-to-date from last year at the same time, according to the USDA.
Blueberries fell from 7.1 million to 5.3 million pounds, cherries from 3.8 million to 2.8 million pounds and peaches from 600,000 to 300,000 pounds.
Imports of Chilean avocados were up, from 18 million pounds to 29.2 million pounds.