Dried Fruit

Prunes: significant decline in EU imports

April 7, 2022 12:52 PM, Der AUDITOR
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SANTIAGO/BRUSSELS. Chile expects a significantly larger crop than in 2021 and remains the most important supplier for EU buyers. Meanwhile, the European Union's prune imports have declined sharply.

Hardly any carry-over stocks

In Chile, farmers continue to be optimistic for this season. After last year's disappointingly low crop of only 35,000 mt, the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) expects an increase of a whopping 85.7% and a prune production of 65,000 mt this year. Some market players even expect up to 70,000 mt. This is contradicted by the fact that the demand for fresh plums in some Asian consumer countries is so high that these fruit are not available for drying afterwards. In addition, about 3,000 mt of plums were damaged by too much sunlight, according to experts from Chelmer Foods. According to their estimate, the marketable quantity this season should be about 59,000 mt of prunes. Due to the small crop last year, the new season will also start with historically low carry-over stocks.

Prices on the European spot market have risen sharply in recent weeks. Unpitted prunes from Chile now cost EUR 5.60/kg FCA Spain; at the beginning of March the price for this variety was EUR 4.25/kg FCA.

Prunes

Type, origin

EUR/kg

Unpitted, 30/40, Argentina

4.55

Unpitted, 30/40, Chile

5.60

Pitted, 40/50, Argentina

5.35

FCA Spain

EU cuts back on imports

EU prune imports in 2021 fell significantly year-on-year. Imports of prunes from third countries fell by 16.4%; Chile remains the undisputed most important supplier, even though a decline of over 35% to just over 18,000 mt was recorded here. The USA (9,053 mt) and Serbia (3,477 mt) took second and third place. Within the EU, France supplied the largest quantity of prunes with 9,543 mt, but overall imports by EU countries from other EU states also fell by just under 5%.

EU prune* imports from third countries, in mt

Supplier

2020

2021

Diff.

Chile

27,963

18,131

-35.2%

USA

9,169

9,053

-1.3%

Serbia

2,223

3,477

56.4%

Moldova

2,098

1,895

-9.7%

Argentina

1,974

1,775

-10.1%

Uzbekistan

188

1,448

670.2%

Turkey

707

962

36.1%

Others

977

1,141

16.8%

Total

45,299

37,882

-16.4%

European Commission

*08132000 Dried prunes

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