Chilean prune exports grew by 10 per cent in the year from April 2014 to March 2015, reaching 61,479 tonnes, according to the latest figures from the Chile Prune Association.
The largest increase was in shipments to the US and Canada, which rose by 789 per cent and 479 per cent respectively to 6,386 tonnes and 940 tonnes. Exports to Asia also grew significantly, notably to Vietnam (+163 per cent to 2,706 tonnes), Hong Kong (+58 per cent) and Taiwan (+32 per cent). In Europe, Spain, Portugal and Italy all saw a rise in shipments.
The 2015 crop is forecast to reach 76,945 tonnes, up from 65,899 tonnes in 2014. The CPA said blossoming and fruitset had been normal and orchards had been exposed to the required number of cold hours without any major freezes.
“The only unforeseen climatic event was a period of heavy rainfall in December, which led to some splitting,” CPA said, adding that the high temperatures registered in recent months has speeded up the ripening process and brought the harvest forward by five to 10 days.