Peru asparagus

The recovery of the European and North American markets coupled with a rise in asparagus and avocado production are expected boost Peru’s non-traditional agricultural exports by 18-20 per cent in 2013, according to the Association of Peru’s Agricultural Producers Guild (Agap). The forecast is more positive than the 3.5 per cent decrease in exports forecast by the country’s exporter association Adex.

Agap said its estimate was based on the 18 per cent increase in shipments seen in September. “By September, shipments to the US grew by 22.4 per cent over the previous year and those to the European Union behaved similarly, showing a 17.2 per cent increase,” Agap’s general manager Ana Maria Deustua said.

Export volumes at the end of September reached 650,619 tonnes, 11.3 per cent more than in 2012, while the value of shipments reached US$940m tonnes, Agap said. A large part of the increase was due to strong demand for asparagus. By September, asparagus shipments had billed US$278.3m, 25.3 per cent more than for the same period of 2012.

Avocado shipments, meanwhile, are expected to finish the year up 15.5 per cent at US$156.8m, according to the Maximise consultancy, with good prices in the US expected to lead to an increase in shipments to this market. New acreage coupled with favourable growing conditions were expected to lead to a record 17.2 per cent increase in output in 2013. New production areas in the country’s mountainous zones now mean it can extend its growing season into February.

Deustua said acreage was expected to expand further in 2014 due to new irrigation projects. She predicted that export growth would be maintained next year as new Asian markets such as China and Japan opened up.