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Peruvian citrus exports to jump 10%Monday, January 26, 2015 > 09:58:18
(Fresh Fruit Portal)
With the Peruvian citrus campaign due to kick off in February, industry estimates put export volumes 10% higher year-on-year despite some concerns over temperatures last year.
The predicted spike would take the total shipping volumes for the season to around 125,000 metric tons (MT).
Peruvian Citrus Growers Association (ProCitrus) general manager Sergio del Castillo told www.freshfruitportal.com the increase in exports was outpacing national citrus production, which was only growing at around 3%.
The growth in exports can largely be attributed to the fact many citrus trees in the country were planted around four to five years ago and are just entering into adulthood now, especially late varieties such as W. Murcott.
“[W. Murcott] is a variety that has grown steadily in recent years. There has also been a slight growth of some early varieties such as Satsuma Okitsu,” del Castillo said.
The ProCitrus head said harvest times would be normal this season and the first shipments would probably leave Peru during the last week of February bound for Europe – the country’s main destination for citrus.
“We were a little bit worried because in the second half of 2014 the temperatures by the sea were higher than what they normally are, but it turned out fine,” del Castillo said.
“The temperatures returned to their normal levels and so that meant we had a smooth run into spring, which is fundamental for flowering and fruit set.
“Now we are just waiting for the campaign to get under way.”
Asked whether Russia’s food import ban on the EU and U.S. – amongst others – would change Peru’s trade dynamics, del Castillo said the industry would have to wait until February to see if there would be a demand increase from the ex-Soviet country.
Despite that, Peruvian exports to Russia have been growing in volume. In 2013 the country shipped around 2,500MT of citrus, and the following year that figure reached almost 3,800MT.
Shipments to the U.S. are expected to set sail around the end of April with clementines.
Volumes to China are also due to pick up as last year the Asian country modified its import protocols for Peruvian citrus, meaning they would suffer less damage from cold treatment.
“[The quantities] are still small. Last year we sent over more or less 600MT, and we hope to double that this year,” del Castillo said.
“Obviously 1,200MT to China really is just a drop of water in the ocean, but it demonstrates that we are consistently increasing our volumes.”
Peru is also working to gain access for its mandarins into the Japanese market, and is close to having the fruit allowed into Brazil.