According to the Association of Exporters (ADEX), the coronavirus pandemic has caused a 16.6 percent decrease in Peruvian asparagus exports amounting to $75 million, in comparison to the $90 million the same time last year, as reported by Gestion, a Peruvian news agency.
The two most important markets from January to March were the U.S. and Spain, receiving $36 million and $15 million in asparagus respectively and accounting for 68 percent of all shipments. The Netherlands recorded a 6.9 percent increase while the UK, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, and Belgium recorded decreases.
“The situation is complicated, as international demand also contracted because restaurants, hotels, and similar businesses are closed. Additionally, and in order to reduce costs, buyers prefer to source from local production or from neighboring countries that have fewer cost overruns,” stated ADEX.
ADEX emphasized that a short-term outlook is hampered by a decrease in flights, rise in freight rates, and difficulty in the international markets due to COVID-19.
There has been growing expectations from business for airlines to start flying in the short term to allow for the transport of asparagus at more competitive prices, with another option being to send the product by sea but that leaves the possibility of the product not arriving in the best conditions due to the long transit times.