José Tomás Quezada, commercial manager of Pacific Nut Company Chile and who recently led the workshop on prunes at the INC XL World Nut & Dried Fruit Congress, reinforces the idea that Chile has the capacity to supply all markets.

In recent years, in the global prunes industry, specific phenomena have been seen in both hemispheres, which have made it possible to clean up stocks that had been dragging down for some time. This is a correction, rather than a change in trend, which has led to 2023 with a healthy balance between supply and demand and where Chile will be able to serve its customers in the different markets, meeting their requirements, without having to keep stocks, that bother from one season to another.

These are some of the conclusions of various members of Chileprunes, who attended the event of the INC XL World Nut & Dried Fruit Congress, held in London, between May 22 and 24.

After talking with different players from the global industry of prunes, with producers from California and France, as well as with large international buyers, José Tomás Quezada, commercial manager of Pacific Nut Company Chile and who led the workshop on prunes, He is one of those who returns with this strong idea that he already envisioned before the trip: this healthy balance of supply and global demand due to the absence of overstocks or shortages of the product.

“The world has a consumption capacity for prunes of around 200-220 thousand tons, a distribution that varies from year to year between the markets, but the total in the end remains the same. And on the world supply side, we have a productive potential of around the same number, which gives us the security of being in a healthy and balanced industry”, reinforces the executive.

The main producers of prunes in the world are Chile, California and France. With a California strongly focused on its domestic market, it allows Chile, several years ago, to be the main exporter and, lately. the world’s leading producer of this fruit.

Period January – May

José Tomás Quezada highlights the stability that shipments to China have achieved, a country that already led the ranking of exports in 2022 and has increased its imports from Chile 20 times in the last 10 years.

In the first 5 months of 2023, Germany and China became the two main destinations for Chilean prunes, leading the first in foreign exchange returns (FOB dollars), while the Asian giant is the first in export volumes.

Destinations to China reached 3,623 tons, equivalent to US$11.7 million, while shipments to Germany of dehydrated plums were 2,808 tons, equivalent to US$12.8 million. For both countries, the export difference with respect to the period January – May 2022 is striking, where China and Germany did not exceed 1,000 tons imported each, with amounts that fluctuated around US$ 3 million. Only in the second half of last year would their Chilean prunes imports “explode”.

The Pacific Nut executive also makes a separate mention of Russia, which this year is more open and with great interest in receiving the Chilean product.

According to data from Chileprunes, the industry already has 70% progress in its sales compared to the total volume available, with a very limited quantity of some calibres.

Total Chilean exports of this fruit in 2022 reached 67 thousand tons and US$ 256 million.

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