USDA FAS report - Argentina apples, pears and grapes - The Packer

USDA FAS report - Argentina apples, pears and grapes

05/19/2009 12:47:59 AM
Tom Karst

The USDA FAS has recently published a couple of significant reports about Southern Hemisphere fresh fruit production. Here is a link to a report about Argentina’s outlook. From the report

http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Commodity%20Report_FRESH%20DECIDUOS%20FRUIT%20SEMI-ANNUAL_Buenos%20Aires_Argentina_15-05-2009.pdf

Argentina's CY 2009 apple production is forecast to increase to 940,000 MT, and fresh pear production is expected to remain stable at 720,000 MT, primarily as a consequence of higher yields resulting from good weather conditions (both crops were expected to be larger but some fruit was lost due to low prices and a salary conflict with harvesters). Table grape production is estimated to decrease to 120,000 MT due to excess rain during harvest. CY 2009 apple exports are forecast to increase less than expected, while pear exports are expected to decrease due to fruit losses and the impact of the global crisis. Table grape exports are estimated to decrease due to lower production. The Argentine Government cut in half the export tax on fresh fruits and vegetables for 2009.

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). This trend is expected to continue, primarily to supply high-value export markets, such as the U.S. and E.U. A local company recently sent the first shipment of organic apples for processing to Spain. The industry expects that this export will facilitate the opening of other export markets for organic fruit for processing. 

Domestic consumption of apples and pears in CY 2009 is expected to increase as less fruit will be demanded from international markets as a consequence of the global economic crisis. Table grape consumption is expected to decrease due to lower production. 

CY 2009 apple exports are estimated to increase slightly to 250,000 MT, and pear exports are expected to decrease to 450,000 MT, compared to CY 2008 due to fruit losses and the impact of the global crisis. Despite larger production, apple exports are forecast to grow less than expected due to various reasons, including: 1) the current international crisis, which has been reducing world demand; 2) the devaluation, vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar, of local currencies in several export markets, such as Brazil, Russia, and the E.U.; 3) large apple production in the Northern Hemisphere countries; and 4) the labor union conflict in Argentina between producers and fruit harvesters, followed by another conflict with packing plant operators during the harvest season (as a result, over 80,000 MT of fruit was lost).

 



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