Peruvian mandarins

The Ukraine conflict will hit Peruvian fruit exports to the region and lead to a significant rise in the cost of inputs like fertiliser, affecting the sector in the longer term, consultancy Fresh Fruit Peru has warned.

Peruvian fruit exports to Russia have grown by an average annual rate of 28 per cent over the last five years, table grapes, avocados, mandarins and mangoes being the main products exported.

Shipments of table grapes grew 29 per cent to US$25m in 2021, making Russia the eighth most important market for this product.

In the case of avocados, shipments to Russia totalled 11,584 tonnes with a value of US$24m, while mandarin exports totalled 11,219 tonnes worth US$11m.

Rafael Zacnich of Comex Peru warned that the conflict could generate complications in future agri-export campaigns by making the cost of inputs more expensive. Russia is the main supplier of fertiliser to Peru, providing 51 per cent of the total.

Union group Conveagro said the cost of fertiliser could rise by as much as 800 per cent due to the trade sanctions imposed on Russia.

Figures from Fresh Fruit Peru show that Peruvian fruit exports fell during the first week of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In week 8 (21-27 February), shipments of fruits, vegetables and grains totalled 3,601 containers, a drop of 21 per cent on the previous weekly average. In previous weeks, exports had been topping 4,000 containers.

Shipments to North America and Asia were down by 30 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, while exports to Europe, decreased by 5 per cent.

The most affected Peruvian products were table grapes, which are coming to the end of their campaign, and avocados, which are just beginning.

Grape shipments were expected to reach 1,000 containers but totalled just 623 containers, a fall of 38 per cent.

In the case of avocados, exports during the last week were expected to reach approximately 270 containers, but totalled just 116 containers.