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Fresh fruit exports from Latin America on the rise

  • Fresh fruit exports from Latin America on the rise

    by Market Insider

    Friday, 26 Jul. 2013

    Over the last 10 years, the number of fresh produce exports from Latin America have been growing steadily and this trend looks to be confirmed in the future. Overall export volumes from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru have increased for all fruit categories and to all markets, rising from 45.7 mt to almost 82 mt, almost doubling in a decade.

    All international markets have seen increasing imports from Latin America. The growth in some destinations has been quite impressive, especially in Asian markets (+ 173% in a decade), Australasia (156% in the same period) and Africa (+ 2,500, starting from a low base).

    Exports from Latin America to the European Union (EU) have expanded by about 75% and those to the United States of America have increased by 90%. The Middle East recorded growth of just under 70%, while regional trade to neighbouring Latin American countries has increased by 30%.

    Europe and North America still account for 32% and 45% of overall exports, respectively. By comparison, exports to neighbouring markets account for 12% of the output, the Middle East has a 2% share, Asia 1%, and Africa and Australasia less than 1% of Latin America's total exports. These export shares have been largely unchanged over the last 10 years.

    The EU, the United States and Asia are therefore the big opportunity areas for the future, even if it is very common to hear that the real growth in exports will come from fast-emerging markets, especially Asia and non-traditional markets, not least of which is Africa.

    The EU and the United States are still of critical overall importance to Latin America and will continue to be so. While it is right that new opportunities can be found in emerging economies, there is the danger of neglecting hard-won markets in mature economies by switching commercial, technical and promotional attention to the emerging markets.

    This would be a mistake. There is, in fact, a clear need to adopt a well-defined approach to the global market, refining market approaches to evolved markets which have to be continuously improved based on the exigencies of the demand. The maxims ‘how much we want these respective markets', and, just as importantly, ‘how much they really want us’ would be especially relevant when becoming specialists in evolved markets.

    Suppliers must also adopt strategies of ‘maintain, build, invest’ or `treat as opportunistic only’. This objective can only be achieved by examining and researching key opportunities and developing a high level of economic, political, social and market understanding which is already being done in the case of some products.

    As in the product cycle, the phase of maturity for Latin American products in evolved markets cannot be left aside just because the product has reached a satisfactory level of diffusion. With market opportunities opening up around the world, only investment in this type of analysis and consequent product adaptation can enable growers and exporters to choose the right markets at the right time. This is perhaps the greatest challenge of all for Latin America's fresh-fruit supply chain.

    Source: Trade Latin America 2013/2014


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