The Argentine Chamber of Integrated Fruit Exporters, CAFI reported that apple and pear exports continued a sharp decline in terms of exported volume, with a downfall of 30% (about 90.000 tons in total) compared to the previous year and 15% less in relation to 2010.
The impact of the overseas market remains very strong, (75% of exports went to that destination), while the remaining 25% was marketed in Mercosur, where volumes were similar to those of last season. To March 65.000 tons less of pears (-26%) were exported, and the downfall for apples was greater than 25.000 tons (-37%).
The fall in export volumes is largely due to two key factors: the lack of markets willing to pay the price needed to cover costs and to a lesser extent, the decrease in the amount of exportable fruit as a result of hail, explained CAFI in a statement.
As for pricing, although Brazil has been showing better levels than last year Chilean exports are generating strong competition in prices, with significantly lower levels shipped. However, overseas markets are reflecting similar prices to those of last season, stated the document.
With the lowest export volumes, and current market prices, the fall in the level of sale revenues exceeded, at the end of March, 300 million dollars, according to data from the Chamber.
Although there are still no accurate estimates, with 75% of the market having prices equal to those of the previous year and costs that rose between 14% and 17% in dollars, the impact on the profitability of the sector is very significant: mainly in price-taking activity where higher costs can not be transferred, and because to aggressive competitors on prices.
On the other hand, CAFI explained that different events that happened during the season like the conflict in the juice industry, that generated losses of millions of pounds of fruit, plus the enormous damage caused by hail in more than 6,500 hectares, portrayed a very difficult situation of the season.
Finally, the report said that in April, the trend in exports continued to show lower sales in both apples and in pears.