Dried Fruit

Prunes: optimistic mood in Chile

October 13, 2022 at 4:39 PM, Der AUDITOR
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SANTIAGO/PARIS. In Chile, the plum trees are developing well and experts are positive about the 2023 crop. The situation is different in France, however, where suppliers are waiting until the very end to calculate their prices.

Positive outlook for 2023

Chilean plum trees are in the middle of their development phase and experts are confident about next March's crop. Pablo Campino, member of the technical committee of Chileprunes and head of the Prune D'Agen Program at Pacific Nut Company Chile, says that the conditions for the trees are much better than in previous years. There was sufficient rainfall in the crucial months, and abundant snow reserves were able to build up in the mountain regions. Temperatures remained cool enough for a long time so that the trees could enter dormancy and flowering could start punctually at the beginning of September. At the same time, both extreme temperature fluctuations and frost have so far been absent. The decisive factor now is how the weather develops in the coming months when fruit sets form and the plums ripen.

The majority of the 2022 crop has been sold by now and market players expect stable to rising prices. Some European dried fruit traders are already having difficulties offering prunes from Chile.

French crop disappoints again

Germany has significantly reduced imports of prunes in the current season. Between September 2021 and August 2022, imports totalled 9,584 mt, around 13% less than in the same period last year. However, shipments from Chile made one significant gain towards the end of the season, increasing by 3% to 3,692 mt, and imports from Serbia (+133% to 597 mt) and Turkey (+24% to 349 mt) also increased. However, this could not compensate for declining imports from the USA (-29% to 2,782 mt), the Netherlands (-42% to 586 mt) and France (-46% to 517 mt).

This year, too, things are not looking good for French prune production. According to the experts at Catz, many packers are holding back and there are reports that there will be a shortage of small dried fruit in particular. Suppliers want to wait for the result before entering the market with prices. Most recently, production in 2022/2023 was estimated at 15,000 mt, compared to 38,790 mt two years ago.

Prune* imports, Germany, in mt

Supplier

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

Chile

3,569

3,692

3.4%

USA

3,890

2,782

-28.5%

Serbia

256

597

133.2%

Netherlands

1,010

586

-42.0%

France

959

517

-46.1%

Turkey

281

349

24.2%

Argentina

119

104

-12.6%

Others

936

957

2.2%

Total

11,020

9,584

-13.0%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / Sep-Jul

*08132000 Dried prunes

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