Chile targets easy peelers Clementines are expected to become a major fruit export from one of Chile's top grower/shippers in the next five years. The prime market is seen as the USA, but Arturo Costabal, trade director of Unifrutti Traders, predicts that the UK will also become a substantial customer for smaller and medium-sized fruit as new groves begin bearing. Unifrutti expects to ship about 450,000 cartons this season, which has just begun and will last until October. The company recently invested $1.5m in a new packing station at Ovalle, and will follow this soon with a further site at Copiapo. Costabal estimates a total of 16,200 hectares have been planted in chile since the first clemenules were brought from Spain 10 years ago. "This citrus appeals to growers because it widens the range and labour can be used after our deciduous crops have been harvested," he said. l Chilean avocado production has doubled in the past decade and now accounts for 82,000 tonnes a year. The main variety is Hass. This season's crop is forecast to reach 86,000 tonnes as a result of good growing conditions, and with a sustained planting rate, it will be not far short of 100,000 tonnes next year. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}