Dried Fruit

Prunes: Chile can significantly increase production

March 14, 2022 at 4:52 PM , Der AUDITOR
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REUS/SANTIAGO. After a disappointingly small crop in 2021, the INC expects Chile to produce considerably more prunes this year. The estimates for France, however, look much less rosy.

Farmers hope for more rain

In its latest report, the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) published the current production estimates for prunes - so far, market players are very positive. The USA can increase its production by more than 28% year-on-year, the forecast here is 68,000 mt. As the California Prune Board reports, a series of storms in December brought the eagerly awaited rainfall and thus replenished the reservoirs. However, more rain is still needed to ensure sufficient supplies in the spring and summer. According to the INC, global supply constraints and continued good domestic and export sales are keeping sellers on their toes. However, problems along the supply chain, especially in the transport sector, also continue.

World crop increases by almost 20%

Growing conditions in Chile were favourable last year and the flowering phase is also described as successful, as confirmed by the Chile Prunes Association. The harvest started in mid-February and if the INC's latest estimates turn out to be accurate, the country could see an increase in production of a whopping 85.7% after last year's disappointing crop. Currently, prune production is estimated at 65,000 mt. Previously, the estimate was higher at 70,000 mt, but high demand for fresh plums by some Asian countries has reduced the amount of fruit destined for drying.

Overall, global production could see a 19% increase to 172,964 mt, according to the latest INC forecasts. While the USA and Chile, as well as Serbia and Australia, could achieve significant increases, France has lost out with a decline of almost 58%.

Prune production, in mt

Country

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

USA

53,000

68,000

28.3%

Chile

35,000

65,000

85.7%

France

38,790

16,400

-57.7%

Argentina

12,000

13,500

12.5%

Serbia

3,000

6,000

100.0%

Australia

1,600

2,300

43.8%

Italy

1,200

964

-19.7%

South Africa

800

800

0.0%

Total

145,390

172,964

19.0%

Quelle: INC, March 2022

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