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Uruguay - Adverse weather affects fruit and vegetable production

The adverse weather has generated sanitary problems in the crops, making it necessary to use agrochemicals that are paid in dollars, which has increased production costs. Moreover, product losses and the decrease in quality have generated lower income for producers.

The situation is complicated in the Model Market, the main fruit and vegetable marketing center in the country, where 60% of the marketed physical volume goes and 80% of the businesses take place. According to data collected by the Farmer Observatory, wholesale reference prices for fruits and vegetables remain below historical levels in virtually all products. In addition, in a scenario of abundant supply, the slump in sales leaves significant surplus merchandise.

The bad weather conditions have also affected the sales of fruit and vegetables at the retail level, preventing the celebration of weekly fairs, which represent a sales channel of almost 35% of the product, which is purchased by 2 million people living in the metropolitan area. According to the Farmer Observatory, the traders “have bought half of the amount of merchandise they usually purchase.”

Referents of all links in the commercial chain agree that the rise of the dollar has influenced the purchasing power of final consumers.

According to forecasts, the total sales of fruit and vegetables in the Model Market during the month of June 2019 will be lower than in the same month of last year, when it amounted to almost 660 million pesos, and almost 24,260 tons entered the market. The Kilo Basket Value will also be lower than in June 2018.

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