Argentina’s record cherries season could have impact on UK this spring

Fresh Fruit Portal

Following two back-to-back seasons affected by poor weather, which saw export volumes drop, Argentine cherries are looking at a much better 2023-24, the Argentine Chamber of Integrated Cherry Producers (CAPCI) says.

CAPCI President Aníbal Caminiti tells the sector is projecting the end of the harvest on Feb. 25, and that he has observed good quality and volumes so far.

“We’re at 6,000 tonnes for export as of Feb. 9, which already makes this a record season,” he says.

Main markets for Argentine cherries include the U.S., which accounts for 34% of overall exports. It is followed by China, taking around 27% of international shipments.

As for pricing, Caminiti says it’s been a good year with most rates remaining stable.

“We are expecting an interesting increase in late fruit, thanks to which we will be able to reach the Asian and UK markets this year, where cherries are highly valued in March and April,” he says.

In 2020-21, Argentina reached peak cherry exports at 6,070 tonnes. Growth rate was at 8-10% year-on-year but stalled due to unfavorable weather.

“We had a setback due to climatic issues but we are recovering from that trend. Right now, the growth rate is almost at a 9% increase. If we compare it with the previous season, which was not good at all, we have an almost 40% increase in our exportable balance,” indicates Caminiti.

The executive adds that the domestic market is expected to take around 6,000, putting total production at around 13,000 tons.

Last year’s cold spring caused delays in production for the Santa Cruz region, and unexpected rains slightly stalled volumes from Río Negro, but Caminiti says most producing areas remain unaffected.



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