Chile has made an exceptional effort to be a key player in the international agricultural market. Dehydrated apples are an example of this hard and successful work. Its 2019 crop is expected to be of normal quality, although the early harvest varieties, especially Gala, has had fruits of smaller size. Chile is focusing on high-middle and high-quality segments.
This year the harvest of conventional apples was 15-20% lower compared to last year. On the other hand, the organic crop did show an increase, due to the larger amount of organic plantations. During the past couple of years our supplier has been certifying a part of their apple tree orchards as organic, due to the growing organic demand from the US and German markets. Availability of conventional apples could become an issue, since the substantial demand for fresh apples from the juice and purée industries resulted in limited volumes available for the drying industry. For this reason we are advising our customers to secure their needs asap. Facilities will continue production until October 2019. Chile can’t compete with other large origins such as China through low prices. The Chilean dehydrated industry offers reliability in service commitments, excellent organoleptic properties and consistent good quality.
This season has started with high prices for Gala; over 20% more than in the previous season. China has had a poor apple crop, pushing up prices in all its processing categories. On the other hand, Poland, the main European origin, has had a very strong production, leading to a huge carry-over stock with weak prices. Chile is not competing directly with China as it is working in the low quality segment nor Polish processors, which work mainly with apples with red skin, as opposed to Chile’s green and peeled ones. However, this situation could have a negative impact on the demand.