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Impact of Weekend Rains on Chilean Fruit Crops Estimated Minimal

November 17, 2022

Last weekend, Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13, central and southern regions of Chile were hit by rains, with the affected area stretching from Valparaíso to Los Lagos. Hail even fell in some areas in O’Higgins region.

According to data released by the Fruit Development Foundation (FDF) of Chile, during Nov. 12 to 13, central regions Valparaíso and Metropolitana recorded less than 4mm of rainfall, which indicates a light rain, while O’Higgins and Maule regions saw levels above 10mm (maximum 16.1mm and 19.6mm, respectively) which is generally considered a moderate rain. Southern regions registered heavy rain with a higher accumulated rainfall: Bio Bío accumulated up to 28.6mm, Araucanía up to 20.6mm and Los Ríos at least 19mm. The highest level of precipitation was observed in Ñuble region, reaching 35.1mm. 

The president of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), Iván Marambio, and the head of the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta), Jorge Valenzuela, announced that the potential impact on the crops is estimated as minimal.

But, according to Marambio, it was too early to know the precise impact of the storms, pending collection of more data. Technical teams in the field observed that potential damage to cherry, blueberry and table grape crops will be highly localized. “Two producers in the same area report different situations. We came across the plantations that suffered damage whereas the neighboring ones did not,” he noted.

Along with issuing information regarding the rains, ASOEX also announced current-season data for cherry exports for weeks 43 and 44 (Oct. 24 – Nov. 6). According to the association’s stats, Chile almost doubled its fresh cherry exports compared to the same period last year. Export volume reached 397 metric tons, an increase of 88% year-over-year. As is traditionally the case, top export destinations included China (327 tons) and the United States (45 tons). Among the producing areas, O’Higgins, Maule and Metropolitana regions were leading in terms of export quantity with all three of them showing greater results compared to the previous year.

Image: Pixabay; Wikipedia user NordNordWestCreative Commons by-sa-3.0 de (modified from original)

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