Export of fresh fruits reached US$ 5 billion
Interview with Paulina Escudero, Head of Asian and Latin American Markets at the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, about the country’s fruits sector.
AgriBrasilis – What are the main exported fruits and where do they go?
Paulina Escudero – Exports of fresh fruit reached values close to US$ 5 billion.
Top 5 species exploited in tons this season, which runs from September 1, 2020 until recently, correspond to:
|TABLE GRAPE||536,426 tons|
The table below shows the complete picture of exports, which reached 2.18 million tons for the 2020-21 season. (Figures in Tons. From 09/01/2020 to 07/02/2021)
|Destination regions||Season 2020- 2021||% participation|
|USA east coast||637,859||29.18|
AgriBrasilis – Is there any type of government incentive for agricultural exportation?
Paulina Escudero – There are no specific incentives for export agriculture, with the exception of the Agroforestry Export Promotion Fund, financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and administered by ProChile.
This fund seeks to “Promote agroforestry exports, contributing to the export development of the sector, within the framework of the country’s international insertion policy and in accordance with WTO rules”, understanding export development as the increase in exports, their diversification, the incorporation of new companies into the export process and the promotion of strategic alliances.
These funds are divided into 5 main tools:
- Agroforestry Fund (FA)
- International Fairs
- Sectoral Brands
- Export Training
The Agroforestry Fund is the main one of these tools, which in 2021 distributed US$ 3.14 million.
ASOEX has relied on ProChile’s support to promote fruit exports in international markets for over 20 years. Today, resources are being granted through tenders in FA tools, sectorial brand and international fairs, with 436 million awarded in the first of these tools, which represents 8% of the total invested by ASOEX in promotion.
AgriBrasilis – How are these farmers characterized?
Paulina Escudero – There are about 17,000 farmers who grow fruits. Approximately 65% correspond to production units of less than 10 ha.
AgriBrasilis – What is the trend in the coming years?
Paulina Escudero – According to our information, demand should remain stable, mainly because food has been considered essential: Both for being a food and for being considered good for health and quality of life, strengthening people’s immune systems. This helped keep the international supply chain active.
With regard to the second half of 2021, the fruit harvest, corresponding to the 2020-2021 harvest, ends on August 30, 2021, and in this regard, we hope that the process will continue to develop.
Regarding the beginning of fiscal year 2021- 2022, which begins on September 1, 2021, we hope, as the pandemic begins to give more favorable signals, for the continuation of the fruit production and export process. This will allow us to start a new season with some normality.
However, we are constantly monitoring the situation, both in Chile and in different markets around the world, so that we can take the necessary measures. For example, we are very attentive to the situation of delays in China’s ports, especially in Yantián, because it can cause a shortage of refrigerated containers, which get stuck in Asia and do not return to Chile.
But these days the situation improved, as operations at that port have returned to normal and work is now being carried out to speed up the processes for handling containers and ships.
AgriBrasilis – Did the pandemic affect in any way the planting and export of fruit?
Paulina Escudero – According to ASOEX statistics, during the first half of 2021 (January to June), fresh fruit exports were very similar to the registered in the same period last year. As of June 24, 2021, exported volumes reach 1,601,739 tons of fresh fruit shipped to various markets around the world, reflecting a slight drop from the previous period.
Volumes shipped remain similar to last year, but during the first half of 2021 our industry faced challenges such as the one experienced in China (cherry box and logistical delays due to greater restrictions and inspections arising from the pandemic). Rains in January affected the decrease in production and exports of some species, mainly table grapes, as well as the reduced availability of workers for harvesting and other fruit-growing processes. Despite this, the fruit sector made several efforts to maintain continuity of supply, both locally and internationally.
It is positive that the sector is considered essential, as it is a food item, which has allowed us to maintain the supply of fruit both in Chile and in international markets. In the same way as ASOEX, we publish manuals, videos and procedures that allow companies in the sector to operate, safeguarding workers and processes.