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Brazil still blocks Argentine pome import

Staff writer |
Exporters and producers of pome fruits expected Brazil would decide that Argentinian producers could re-export pears and apples.

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Reopening the Brazilian market would be of paramount importance because Brazil is the main destination for Argentinean pome fruits, as they buy 190,000 tons of pears and apples per year and generate a turnover that exceeds $250 million dollars per year.

However, the Brazilian government postponed the announcement on the opening of the border, which did not sit well with the fruit growers, who are going through the worst crisis in their history.

Now, fruit producers will have to wait until July 1, when Brazilian health authorities could lift the blockade, which was enforced due to the presence of the codling moth.

"The situation here is terrible, 200 million kilos were left unharvested. Brazil is very important in the second half of the year and, even though much fruit remained, it wasn't harvested, the refrigerators are full because we were unable to export to Europe and Russia.

"With this background, all we have left is the possibility of selling to Brazil and the domestic market," says Raul Ferragut, a local journalist specializing in fruit growing.

"One just needs to do a simple analysis to get an idea of the situation: We have a yearly turnover that amounts to 1,000 million dollars, 450 million of which are destined to pay wages and 420 million for taxes," said Raul.

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