Peru citrus fruit producers eye Asian & Middle Eastern markets

Due to fears of a worsening U.S. financial crisis, Peruvian citrus fruits producers, who currently export their products to the U.S. and European countries, are planning to diversify their exports to new markets in Asia and the Middle East.

"We are waiting to see what happens with the financial crisis in the United States,” said the general manager of the Association of Citrus Producers of Peru (Procitrus), Sergio Castillo.

Because this year’s harvest and export season is over and the next one will begin in May, Castillo said that Procitrus representatives will take the next seven months to analyze the impact of this financial crisis on the consumption of Peruvian citrus fruits.

Although it is still too early to forecast market trends, Castillo estimated that export volumes next year would be very similar to those of 2008.

In addition, he noted that local producers are exploring new markets as the U.S. financial crisis is starting to spread to Europe.

"We are about to enter the Chinese market and we plan to diversify our exports into other Asian markets including Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong," he explained.

Castillo mentioned that Peruvian exporters are also planning to take their products to the Middle East for which it is necessary to have access to logistic services.

"Citrus fruits are exported as fresh fruits and must meet a series of standards and regulations to access desired markets," he added.