Subsector Overview: Common Beans in Chile

Chile's Agricultural Economy

Land Use. Chile is 756,630 square km, almost two times the size of Montana. In terms of land use (Table 1), FAO classifies 20.3% of the country's land areas as agricultural. Of the total agricultural area, 84.9% is classsified as permanent pasture, 13.0% as arable, and 2.1% as permanent crop area.

Primary Crops. During the period 2000-2004, 1,309,163 ha were planted to primary crops (Table 2). Ten crops accounted for 76.9% of the country's harvested area--wheat (409,536 ha, 24.1% of harvested area), followed by mixed grasses and legumes (269,000 ha, 15.8%), grapes (163,972 ha, 9.6%), oats (100,236 ha, 5.9%), maize (95,619 ha, 5.6%), alfalfa for forrage and silage (80,000 ha, 4.7%), potatoes (59,285 ha, 3.5%), grasses for forrage and silage (52,900 ha, 3.1%), sugar beets (42,757 ha, 2.5%), and apples (35,858 ha, 2.1%).

Bean Farming Systems

Trends in Bean Production, Harvested Area and Yields
. During the past decade (1995-2004), total bean production averaged 49,574 mt (Figure 1, Table 3). While the bean production decreased at an annual rate of 2.1%/year during the decade (mean of 1995-98 vs. 2002-2004), production varied greatly from-year-to-year--ranging from 65,581 mt (1996) to 30,778 mt (1999), with a CV of 20%.

Harvested Area. During the decade, the bean harvested area averaged 34,592 ha (Figure 1, Table 3). While the bean harvested areas decreased at an annual rate of 6.3%/year, the harvested areas varied greatly from year-to-year--ranging from 49,353 ha (1996) to 25,870 ha (2003), with a CV of 24%.

Yields. During the decade, bean yields increased at an annual rate of 4.6%/year (Figure 2, Table 3). While yields averaged 1,462 kg/ha, they varied greatly from year-to-year--ranging from 1,059 kg/ha (1999) to 1,852 kg/ha (2003), with a CV of 19%.

Bean Market Classes
The most predominant bean market classes are tortola, coscorron and bayo. Tortola beans account for an estimated ...% of annual production, while coscorron and bayo account for an estimated ...% and ...% respectively.

Domestic Bean Marketing Channels

Trends in Bean Prices

Bean Consumption


Value-Added Bean Products

International Trade in Beans
Chile imports and exports beans. During the period 1999-2004, exports averaged 10,655 mt (CV=17%), while imports averaged 1,209 mt (CV=61%) (Figure 3, Table 4). Over the period, imports averaged about 2.8% of production and exports averaged about 24% of production (Figure 4).

Import Partners. During 1999-2004, Chile imported the largest share of its bean imports from Argentina (31.6%), followed by China (30.0%), and Canada (22.5%) (Figure 5, Table 5).

Export Partners. During 1999-2004, Chile exported the largest share of its bean exports to Venezuela (62.8%), followed by Netherlands (6.4%), and Italy (4.2%) (Figure 6, Table 6).

Bean Research
Research Centers.

Major Constraints to Increasing Bean Production.

Recent Varietal Releases.

Bean Seed Production and Marketing

Government Policies Affecting Bean Production