We are working with our global partners around the clock to ensure that supply chains remain streamlined and are flowing as smoothly as possible in the face of the many challenges that COVID-19 presents. As we receive supply chain updates, we will share them. If you have any questions, please contact your local Vanguard representative.
Vanguard is pleased to provide an update on the Chilean Apple crop.
Condition and quality
This past season, Chile faced very high temperatures, especially in cities located further north in the production regions (VI Region). These high temperatures added to the drought that has impacted Chile for the past decade. This water stress, combined with higher temperatures, could lead to smaller fruit size, in addition to some quality defects such as bitter pit, lenticel spots, or water core and sunburn showing a bit more severe than observed in past years.
Supply from the 2020 season is expected to show a 10-12% decrease from 2019. This means Chile should export around 625,000 – 650,000 tons of apples this year.
In addition to growing conditions this season, this decrease in production can be attributed to the loss of planted areas in Chile in the last few years. Last year, specifically, planted hectares decreased by 6%. This is due partly by apple varietal replacement, but mostly by growers looking for more profitable crops to produce and sell such as cherries, berries, and nuts.
However, this decrease in production doesn’t make a significant impact on Chile’s prominent position as an apple exporter. Apples continue to lead on the list of the most exported fruit from Chile, with the Royal Gala variety holding the highest quantity spot at 50%, followed by Pink Lady, Fuji, Granny Smith, and others, respectively.
Harvest has begun
Chile has begun to harvest its Fujis now, and the first vessels carrying exports have departed. So far, this variety is showing signs of slightly smaller sizing than last season, concentrating between 80-88-100 sizes.
There are around 32,300 total hectares of apple trees planted in Chile. Of this, around 4,550 hectares are Fujis, expecting to export around 88,000-92,000 tons of fruit, or 4.5 million boxes.