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Drought may keep Chile fruit exports in check for 2019-2020 season

During the 2019-2020 season the Association of Fruit and Exporters of Chile (ASOEX) plans to export 2.7 million tons of fresh fruit, about the same as last season.

ASOEX made its prediction in the No. 145 session of the Logistics Forum of Puerto Valparaiso (Folovap), according to Portual Portuario, a Chilean port news reporting agency.

Experts, however, are keeping an eye on the consequences from the drought that hit the regions of Valparaiso, Metropolitana, O’Higgins, and Maule.

The General Secretary of ASOEX, Sergio Maureira, told Portual Portuario that he hopes this season will be similar to the previous in regards to volume, with growth within certain fruits such as cherry exports to the Asian market and blueberry projections from the blueberry committee indicating an improvement which could reach 115,000 tons.

While organic blueberries reached 5,200 tons, representing 11% of exports and an increase of 45% over the previous season.

Maureira said the data that stood out the most was shipments fresh cherries reaching 192,710 tons during the first week of the new year, which is 25% more than the previous period.

Of those shipments, 94 percent were for the Asian market with China being the primary receiver of 174,538 tons, 29 percent more than the previous period of 2018-2019.

Among other commodities, table grape exports also stood out, reaching 596,000 tons. The effects of the drought are still being monitored by producers. It noteworthy that Chile will begin to export pears to China this season, while also working to bring about citrus exports to the Chinese market as well.

Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America for Blue Book Services