«Inflation is like a disease and we are being treated with medication»
Will Argentina manage to re-enter the international apple market?
«We are in a transition year, following the change to a new government, but we have a promising future. Argentina has the right climate, waters from melting snow and a long tradition in the cultivation of this type of crop. Competing countries have faced issues because of the lack of water and an increase in internal costs, which will give us the opportunity to compete in the apple market, and if the current economic policies become consolidated, as has been the case in these first few months, we have a chance to become a key player again in the field of exports,» states Carlos Enríquez, manager of Vista Alegre.
Despite the positive outlook, the climatic factors that have hit most fruit-growing areas in the southern hemisphere have led to a 30% dop in Argentina’s apple production. Also, only 35% of this fruit production is intended for export, leaving 65% for domestic consumption, so the latter remains the most important market for this product. «As a result of economic policies that have discouraged export over the past 12 years, Argentina has lost ground in the filed of foreign trade against its competitors. We have the conviction and enthusiasm that the new government of President Macri will support the export of fruits,» continues Carlos Enriquez.
Argentinian apple exports go mainly to Brazil, Northern Europe, Russia and North Africa; the United States only buys a small share. «Right now, the harvest of red apples has been completed and the Granny Smith campaign is in full swing; the arrival of the Pink Lady is expected for the second half of April and we have good prospects for it. We must not forget that Argentinian apples have a great global reputation for their quality and taste, but in recent years our competitors have pushed us back because of our prices. The new government has removed export taxes and improved the exchange rate, so now we are able to offer our apples at attractive prices,» stresses the spokesperson of Vista Alegre.
«Argentina is a country with great human potential and natural resources. Currently, the inflation issues are not yet under control and it will still take time before we see lasting results. The situation is like a disease which we are fighting with the right medication. It will take a while before Argentina is completely healthy, but we are very optimistic and confident about the current changes,» he concludes.
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Publication date: 4/8/2016