Chile can point to bad weather for the drop in export volume for kiwifruit, but as one would expect, the global pandemic also contributed.
As of week 23-24, Chile has exported 95,045 tons of kiwifruit, reflecting a 12 percent year on year drop, in volume, as reported by Simfruit.
Carlos Cruzat, President of the Kiwi Committee said, “There is a lower volume due to the effect of the summer heat, which led to lower production due to a reduction in sizes, as well as a clearing of hectares. However, there shouldn’t be a big difference between this season and last year’s exports. According to our estimates, they will be 4 percent to 5 percent lower.”
Cruzat also mentioned that exports started slower, with almost 40 percent behind schedule. However, as the season progressed volumes have balanced out and that percentage has reduced to almost only 10 percent behind schedule.
He went on to say that due to COVID-19, harvests started later than usual due to uncertainty as to how the markets would behave along with a reduction in field workers due to social distancing and other measures taken into place.
Cruzat stated “fortunately, the season has normalized a lot by now, especially in the European markets.”
The main destination for Chilean kiwis continues to be Europe, with 27,744 tons, reflecting a 26 percent increase over 2018. Followed by the Far East with 26,096 tons, a decrease of 43 percent; Latin America with 15,748 tons, a decrease of 18 percent; North America with 13,413 tons, a decrease of 12 percent; the Middle East with 3,438 tons, an increase of 33 percent; and Russia with 8,607 tons, a decrease of 49 percent, all compared to the same period in 2018.