Peruvian exports of fresh fruit and vegetables are growing rapidly

The Andean country’s exports have grown enormously, from less than a million tons in 2011 to 2.25 million tons in the last year. In addition, it has increased by 20% compared to 2019.

( Peru is on track to overtake Chile as the largest exporter of fresh fruit and vegetables in South America. The Andean country’s exports have grown enormously, from less than a million tons in 2011 to 2.25 million tons in the last year, 20% more than in 2019, while Chilean exports of fresh fruits and vegetables reached a maximum of 3.17 million tons in 2018 then went on to decrease slightly to 2.91 million tons in 2020.

Jan Kees Boon of Fruit and Vegetable Facts (The Netherlands) pointed out that the export basket of both countries differs, but they also have similarities, largely due to the location of the two nations. Peru is located just below the equator, while Chile is a country in the southern hemisphere, but due to the enormous distance between the north (latitude 20) and the south (latitude 50), many different products are grown in Chile.

In Chile, apples and grapes are the dominant fresh produce; together they account for almost half of the total production of fruit and vegetables. They are followed in importance by cherries, tangerines, kiwis and plums. In Peru, grapes and avocados are the most cultivated fresh products, although the joint share does not reach 40%. Behind them are onions, mangoes and bananas. Of the most important products for export in both countries, they have grapes in common. They are followed by blueberries and avocados, which Peru exports in large quantities, as does Chile.

The majority goes to the United States 

The United States is by far the most important sales market for both Chile and Peru. In 2020, this country bought 30% of the fruit and vegetables exported by Chile and 36% of those from Peru. For Chile, China was the second most important market (especially for cherries), while for Peru the second position was occupied by the Netherlands, which in turn is the third most important market for fresh fruit and vegetables from Chile.

China, an important trading partner for Chile and Peru

It is noteworthy that China is the most important trading partner for both Chile and Peru, both in terms of exports and imports. For both countries, the United States is number two. The Netherlands, for its part, is in the top 10 in terms of imports of Chilean and Peruvian products.

Exports of minor Chilean products grow

There are a number of growing fruits and vegetables within the Chilean export basket, although this does not apply to the two largest products. Last year, the export of apples was slightly lower than in 2019, but much lower than in 2018. Many Chilean apples go to Latin American countries. Exports to the Netherlands rose again in 2020 after falling sharply in 2019, but did not fully recover.

The export of Chilean grapes is long past its peak. Almost half of Chilean export grapes go to the United States. China is the other big buyer, behind which, at a distance, is the Netherlands.

Cherries are now the third largest export product, having been exported in record quantities in 2020. This product is shipped almost exclusively to China. 2020 was an excellent year for Chilean mandarin exports, increasing by 25% to almost 200,000 tons. Almost all Chilean mandarins go to the United States.

The export of Chilean kiwis has also passed its peak for some time now. In 2020 shipments dropped significantly. This product is sold in a large number of countries.

As for blueberries, while the export worldwide is growing strongly, Chilean shipments are declining, even falling by 20% in 2020. Especially exports to the most important destination market, the United States, fell sharply. The export of Chilean blueberries to the Netherlands, its second market for this fruit, on the other hand, grew in 2020 to reach a record 25,000 tons.

Chilean avocado shipments fell sharply in all destination markets, including the most important, the Netherlands.

Peruvian exports are growing in all areas

Shipments of grapes, the main Peruvian export product, grew strongly again in the last year (+19%). The most important sales market, the United States, even increased its imports by more than 30%. Exports to the Netherlands, the second largest market, also grew strongly (+18%). However, the export of Peruvian grapes to countries in Southeast Asia fell sharply.

The Netherlands is, by far, the most important buyer of the other great Peruvian export product, the avocado, whose shipments to this European country grew by around 30%, as did all fruit and vegetable exports to the Netherlands. The Netherlands is also the main buyer of Peruvian mangoes, whose shipments to this European country grew in double digits in 2020.

The export of Peruvian bananas did not decline further in 2020 after the continued decline in shipments in previous years. Two thirds of Peruvian onions go to the United States, while Spain is the second largest buyer. Mandarin exports are also doing well. More than half of them go to the United States.

The development of the export of blueberries from Peru is advancing rapidly. In a very short time, shipments have increased to more than 160,000 tons. Half goes to the United States and a quarter to the Netherlands.

Three quarters of Peruvian asparagus exports go to the United States. Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are the other major buyers, far behind the North American country. In 2020, 7,000 tons of Peruvian asparagus were exported to the Netherlands.

More than 1.1 million tons to the EU

According to Eurostat figures, last year almost 400,000 tons of fresh Chilean fruit and vegetables and more than 700,000 tons of Peruvian products were exported to the EU-27. For the Chilean product, this was about the same as in 2019, but less than the peak of 450,000 tonnes in 2018. The export of Peruvian fruit and vegetables to the EU is growing rapidly, by 16% in 2020. In 2016, shipments of Peruvian fruit and vegetables to the EU totaled 450,000 tons.

The Netherlands is the most important gateway to Europe for both countries. For Chile, the participation of the Netherlands in exports to the EU is 60% and for Peru 65%. In terms of volume, these are 240,000 and 450,000 tons, respectively. Spain is, by far, the second European destination with an import in 2020 of 45,000 tons of Chilean fruit and vegetables and 150,000 tons of Peruvian products.

Almost 30% of all blueberries from Chile and Peru go to Europe

Last year, the European Union imported a total of 1.1 million tons of fresh fruit and vegetables from Chile and Peru, representing 3% of the total imports of the EU and 8% of imported products from third countries. The participation of the two countries in the European import of blueberries is large: almost 30% of the total.

In addition, 61% of blueberries from countries outside the EU are imported from Chile and Peru. In 2020, a quarter of all avocados imported by EU countries came from Chile and Peru (as for avocados from non-EU countries, this figure reaches 46%). Likewise, 22% (80%) of asparagus imports, 19% (33%) of mango imports, 11% (17%) of ginger imports and 10% (27%) of grapes imported by EU countries came from these two countries.