Dried Fruit

Prunes: high demand from China

June 27, 2024 at 12:29 PM , Der AUDITOR
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SANTIAGO. Despite lower production results this year, demand for Chilean prunes is increasing. This is also having an impact on prices.

Smaller crop in Chile

During the INC Congress in May 2024, global prune production was forecast at 193,550 mt, which would correspond to a 12.3% decline compared to last year. Crops are expected to be lower in many growing countries this year, including the USA, Chile and Argentina.

According to experts, Chile's prune production totalled 55,000-60,000 mt this year, compared to a yield of 68,000 mt in the 2023/2024 season. A winter that was too warm, followed by a cool spring and a hot summer had a massive impact on the crop in the South American country. In addition, large quantities of fresh plums were exported to China in February, which reduced the availability of raw materials for dried fruit production, Chelmer Foods reports in reference to South365.

Despite the drop in production this season, exports from Chile, especially to China, are going well for the prune market. Overall, more than 70% of stocks are said to have already been sold and China's imports from Chile are reported to have risen to 25,000 mt in 2024, up from 18,000 mt in 2023.

Market players are therefore reckoning that prices for prunes will rise due to high demand from China and lower overall availability. Furthermore, Chilean dried fruit traders are working flat out to increase shipments to the Indian market. However, according to market players, this is a long-term project that should promote Chilean prunes in the Indian market over several years, as prunes are not yet a widely used product there.

German imports down by a good 30%

Germany imported a total of 4,993 mt of prunes between September 2023 and April 2024, compared to 7,184 mt in the same period last year. This means that imports fell by 30.5% year-on-year. Despite declining imports from Chile (-19.5% to 3,237 mt), the country remains the most important supplier. Imports from the USA (-40.6% to 538 mt), Serbia (-66.5% to 248 mt) and Turkey (-47.3% to 106 mt) also fell significantly. In contrast, imports from France (+50.6% to 354 mt) and Uzbekistan (+28.9% to 147 mt) were considerably higher.

Prune* imports, Germany, in mt

Supplier

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

Chile

4,023

3,237

-19.5%

USA

905

538

-40.6%

France

235

354

50.6%

Serbia

740

248

-66.5%

Uzbekistan

114

147

28.9%

Turkey

201

106

-47.3%

Argentina

67

81

20.9%

Others

899

282

-68.6%

Total

7,184

4,993

-30.5%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / Sep-Apr

*08132000 Dried prunes

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