Dried Fruit

Prunes: China and Germany are main export destinations

June 29, 2023 at 9:27 AM , Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO/SANTIAGO. Chile's prune exports started well in the first months of 2023. China and Germany emerged as the main buyers during this period.

Critical weather conditions

California prune producers are optimistic about the upcoming crop. According to US agricultural media, many growers were in the comfortable position of having to thin out the abundant number of fruit set on the trees to allow the prunes to mature to the desired size, rather than producing predominantly small fruit. At the same time, however, producers are concerned that the comparatively long cool temperatures could delay fruit development. As a result, the drying period would take place during a period when rainfall is not uncommon, which could have a negative impact on the quality and yield of the crop. The California Prune Board estimates this year's US prune production at 68,000 mt, which would be an increase over last year. Currently, 40,000 acres are farmed for prune production in the US state.

China becomes No. 1

José Tomás Quezada, commercial director of Pacific Nut Company Chile, emphasised after his visit to the INC Congress in London how balanced the international prune market is. Worldwide, the annual consumption of prunes is 200,000-220,000 mt, and production - with a few exceptions - is also within this range. This would prevent old stocks from having to be dragged along from season to season.

While Californian prune production is geared more to the domestic market, this allows Chile, which has also recently become the main growing country, to consolidate its position as the main exporter of prunes on the international market. According to Chileprunes, 70% of this year's crop has already been sold, and there is only a limited supply of individual sizes.

Last year, China already proved to be a new sales market and lucrative trading partner for Chilean dried fruit exporters. Exports were also impressive in the first five months of this year. China quickly became the main buyer, importing 3,623 mt of prunes worth USD 11.7 million between January and May 2023. However, Chilean exporters made most of their sales with shipments to Germany, which occupies second place among the most important consumer countries. In the above-mentioned period, Chile exported 2,808 mt of prunes worth USD 12.8 million to the European country. In the same period last year, both countries had imported less than 1,000 mt of prunes from Chile.   

Export prices for Chilean prunes have stabilised for the time being. Unpitted prunes, 30/40 are at a level of EUR 4.80/kg CIF Spain, for pitted prunes, 30/40 the offers are currently at EUR 4.65/kg.

Prunes

Type

EUR/kg

Unpitted, 30/40, Chile

4,80

Pitted, 30/40, Chile

4,65

CIF Spain

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