“Twenty years ago Chile and Argentina had the same area planted with cherry trees. Chile grew and we stagnated”

From Fresh Plaza | 23 December 2021

Overview of cherries from Argentina in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 20, 2021. 

The cherry harvest has ended in part of the Alto Valle area, such as in the town of Vista Alegre, with a significant decline in fruit. “Mendoza harvested 50% less volume and there were curdling problems that we are analyzing,” stated Anibal Caminiti, president of the Argentine Chamber of Integrated Cherry Producers (Capci).

According to annual data from Senasa, last year Northern Patagonia exported 3,767 tons of cherry, 2,088 of which were sent to China. 1,299 tons were produced in the province of Rio Negro and 799 from Neuquen. However, he said, the volumes continue to be very different than those sent by Chile.

Volumes (in Kg) of cherries from Argentina, in the US Market
chart 2021 12 23T145958.388

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Chile exported nearly 352,000 tons of cherries last year, while Argentina only shipped 6,100 tons, it’s a difference there’s been for years. “Chile has other perspectives from the economic point of view, other models, and free trade agreements we don’t have. For example, in the previous season, Chile achieved an income of 2 billion dollars for its cherry exports alone. Meanwhile, all of our fruit exports amounted to less than 700 million dollars,” stated the head of Capci.

“20 years ago, when cherries began to be developed, both countries had the same planted area. They grew and we stagnated.” Caminiti said that investing in a cherry plantation in Argentina was very complex due to the country’s lack of economic predictability. As a result, the area devoted to this crop stagnated. Argentina has 2,200 hectares planted with cherries (including 664 declared in the Rio Negro and Neuquen area) while Chile has more than 40,000 hectares. “They have more cherries planted than we do apples,” the producer said.

Cherries from Chile in the US Market | Volumes (in Kg)
chart 2021 12 23T150115.351

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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