The Mintec price for Argentinian pears continued its bullish trend and increased by 15% to ARS 55.88/kg in the seven weeks to 16th September. Lower production forecasts for the 2019/20 marketing year (MY) and firm European demand have been vital contributors to the upward trend.
The Argentinian pear production forecast has been revised lower by 40,000 tonnes to 550,000 million tonnes for the 2019/20 MY, according to the USDA, on the back of adverse weather conditions. This has been a bullish price driver for the Argentinian pear market, during a period of rising European demand due to COVID-19.
Argentinian and European pear prices have shown a strong positive correlation (r=0.8) for the period March-June, during the peak of global lockdown restrictions. Retail demand for pears across Europe rose significantly over the period due to the health benefits of the fruit, in turn increasing exports from Argentina.
The Argentine pear industry was responsive to rising European demand, and experienced no major delays or COVID-19 related logistical problems at origin ports. COVID-19 also had minimal impact on the Argentinian pear industry in terms of production. The Argentinian government endorsed tight lockdown restrictions, but the fruit harvest was a declared an excepted activity, allowing the industry to continue working under a stricter protocol.
As a result, Argentinian pear prices are expected to remain firm for the remainder of the year, with the weakening of the Argentinian Peso incentivising European demand, amid tighter supply.