Argentina deciduous: USDA FAS weighs in - The Packer

Argentina deciduous: USDA FAS weighs in

05/26/2010 12:54:00 PM
Tom Karst

Check out this link for a report from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service on on Argentina's deciduous fruit. Some highlights from the reporr:

For CY 2010, Post forecasts a decrease in fresh apple and pear production to 860,000 MT (apples) and 700,000 MT (pears) due to late frosts which affected blossoms. Fresh table grape production is estimated to rebound to 140,000 MT as a result of higher yields resulting from good weather conditions. Apple and pear exports are expected decrease due to smaller production, while table grape exports are projected to increase due to larger production and the recovery of export markets. Domestic consumption of apples is expected to decrease due mainly to lower supply, and pear and table grape consumption is forecast to remain stable.

Both apple and pear production was expected to be larger, but over 80,000 MT of fruit (primarily pears) were reportedly lost due to a labor dispute over salaries and very low prices paid to producers, which resulted in fruit remaining unharvested. Table grape production decreased to 120,000 MT due to excess rain during the harvest season, as well as late frosts and high temperatures.

It is estimated that about 85-90 percent of total apple production and approximately 80-85 percent of total pear production is produced in Alto Valle de Rio Negro Province and Neuquen Province, and the balance is produced primarily in Valle de Uco, Province of Mendoza. San Juan Province concentrates about 95 percent of total table grape production in Argentina.

Organic fresh apple and pear production, destined for niche export markets, has been growing steadily during the past few years – despite 30-percent higher production costs compared to conventional fruit production (production costs for organic apples and pears have increased by over 300 percent since 2001).
According to private sources, in CY 2009, conventional fruit production costs increased between 20-30 percent, especially labor and energy (labor costs account for 60-65 percent of total production costs).

The current economic conditions in Argentina (the value of the Argentine peso vis-a-vis the dollar and over 20 percent annual inflation rate) decreases the competitiveness of the local fruit sector and discourages foreign investment

Government Support to Producers

In 2002, the Government of Neuquen Province implemented a voluntary Compensation Fund for Fruit Producers for producers who want to insure, at least, part of their harvest against hail damage. If over 50 percent of the harvest is damaged, the fund will cover the full harvest. Over 90 percent of producers have participated in this Fund. The Government of Rio Negro Province has a similar system to help fruit producers face challenges affecting the sector

Here is recent USDA trade data on imports of Argentina apples, pears and grapes:



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