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Fruit in Charts: Lower exports of key Chilean commodities amid social unrest

Following up on our previous article on the same subject, we continue to track the effect of the protests in Chile of fresh fruit exports to the U.S.

As protests in Chile continue, we will also continue our coverage of how this event is playing out in the market data provided by the USDA. From the chart below we can see that over the last six weeks Chilean imports have seen an important decrease compared to last year.

Historic Imports of Chilean Fruit to the US

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

Looking at which fruits were the most represented last year, avocados, blueberries and cherries come to the forefront..

Imports of Chilean Fruit to the US by Commodity

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

The most drastic change can be seen in avocados. However, it’s important to note that last year during this time period Mexico was on strike, a subject we wrote about at the time in this article. As such, Chile's avocados could be more affected by a competitive market than strikes at the port.

Historic Imports of Chilean Avocados to the US

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

Blueberries on the other hand, look on track relative to exports last year. Admittedly, the season is just beginning to pick up, so this is a fruit we will monitor closely to see how things develop in the weeks to come.

Historic Imports of Chilean Blueberries to the US

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)

Cherries have also shown an important decrease in volume. However, we covered that fruit in more detail last week. Feel free to take a look at Cristian's article through this link..

Although uncertainty surrounding protests in Chile is cause for concern, the blueberry exports we have seen so far may be an indication that things aren’t as desperate as they appear. December is a big month for Chilean exports. So, as the political situation in the south evolves so will our coverage of it as we try to illustrate what its effects on the industry could be.

Written by: Colin Fain
Original published in on December 17, 2019 (Link)


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