Brazil closed 2019 for the first time, with US$1 billion in fruit exports, according to information from the Ministry of Agriculture's (AgroStat) foreign trade statistics system.
According to the National Supply Company (Conab), this scenario will continue in 2020, when the sector will focus on China, which should start importing fresh fruit from Brazil, especially melons.
Conab reported that the volume of fruit exports in Brazil until December 2019 was 14.74% higher compared to the same period in 2018, and the value of the dollar increased by 3.83%. Melons, mangoes, lemons, limes, grapes and bananas were the fruits that contributed to the high growth in the volume of exports. Apples and oranges saw a decline.
According to figures released by the Brazilian Association of Fruit and Derivative Export Producers (Abrafrutas), the sector saw a 16% increase in volume and 8.5% increase in the value of fruit exports. More than 980 million tonnes were exported, compared to 848 million in 2018, and revenue jumped from $790 million in 2018 to $858 million in 2019.
The executive director of Abrafrutas, Eduardo Brandão, said that the increase was already expected, despite the challenges faced, such as phytosanitary restrictions and the reduction of maximum residue limits imposed by the European Union, the main destination for Brazilian exported fruits.
“Despite this, the good weather conditions seen throughout the year were favorable toward this result. In 2020, we believe that the climate will continue to benefit us, added to the opening of new markets, such as melons for China,” said Brandão.
In its January 2020 horticultural bulletin, Conab noted that in December last year, orange prices had seen a slight increase in some cases, also considering a small increase in supply in most wholesale markets, which began to decline in the second half of the year. The higher demand and the better quality, mainly of pears and oranges, explained the movement, according to Conab.
The apple, on the company's balance sheet, registered a mild price increase (with the exception of Ceasa Minas) and a small decline in sales in most wholesale warehouses. For Conab, the low supply of gala apples, even with the reduced pace of sales, coupled with the sale of bigger and more expensive apples, helped explain the small rise in prices.
The horticultural bulletin also revealed that bananas saw a high price in all cases due to the drop in supply, mainly for nanica, despite the demand traditionally decreasing with the holidays. Mercosul saw a good sale of bananas, especially the nanicas originating in Santa Catarina, in view of the problems competitors face with logistical impediments resulting from economic, political and social conflicts.
Papayas, on the other hand, showed a drop in prices due to the increase in supply in most wholesale warehouses. This is explained, according to Conab, by the drop in demand at the end of the year combined with the lower quality of fruits. Overall, the availability of papayas, with faster ripening, was higher than the papaya formosa.
As for the watermelon, there was a drop in prices, together with an increase in the availability of the fruit to the final consumer in relation to November, especially for watermelons from the south of Bahia and the interior of São Paulo, which at this time of the year are the main regions that supply the fruit.