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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Bolivia only exports 14% of its fresh fruits

Thursday, June 02, 2016 > 12:13:34

(Fresh Plaza)

The global fruit market continues to grow sustainably, as there were dealings for 110 billion dollars in 2015; Latin America accounts for 21% of the world's fruit markets and grew by 2.5%. According to a study of the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), despite increasing its exports of fresh fruits, Bolivia only sells 14% of its total production. However, the report states, the country has great potential to expand its sales in foreign markets.

Bolivia produces more than 1 million tons of fruit. Bolivia exported 142,000 tons of fresh fruits, showing significant growth in this type of export, which amounted to approximately $45.8 million dollars. Its main destinations were Argentina, France, Mexico, Uruguay, and the Netherlands. However, since the country produces more than one million tons, these numbers show that Bolivia only exports 14% of its production and that the bulk of the production is destined to the domestic market.

"Bolivia's potential to supply fresh fruit to the world could be large, even with the more than 1 million tons of agricultural production of bananas, peaches, tangerines, oranges, pineapples and grapes that was reported for 2014-2015. However, these fruits must meet quality and quantity requirements so they can be more competitive in today's export markets and in new markets," said Steven Magariños Terrazas, a specialist in markets from the IBCE.

The expert highlighted the exports of bananas and other types of plantains, which are the fruits that achieve the highest export values in Bolivia, as there exports grew by 7% over 2014 and totaled more than 38 million dollars. Lime and lime skin have grown by 129% and 182%, respectively, because the quality and product availability have contributed in opening new markets for this fruit.

"Bolivia has a large production of bananas, peaches, tangerines, oranges, pineapples, and grapes, thus, these fruits have a good export potential. However, other fruits, such as the lime, have also shown a promising growth potential. The most developed markets have more opportunities and an increased demand of traditional and exotic regional fruits; mainly because they greatly value their health benefits and the benefits that the diversification of consumption can have," he said.

According to the IBCE, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador account for 89% of the fruits exported by Latin America and the Caribbean. Bolivia, in turn, only accounts for nearly 1% of what the Latin American region exports.

There are phytosanitary export limitations. Noe Moron, president of the Federation of Horticulturists and Fruit Growers of Santa Cruz (Fedehfrut), said there was enough fruit production in the country; however, he said, since producers can't export their products because of phytosanitary barriers in neighboring countries, most of the production remained in the domestic market.

"I only know of one company in Santa Cruz that exports citrus, Totai Citrus, the rest of the producers only sell their fruit to the domestic market. There are phytosanitary barriers, such as the fruit fly and the citrus canker. What we need to do is to open the industrial processors of citrus and other fruits to add value to the product so as to have more options to export the product," said Moron.

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