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China: Will the cherry market turn upside down?

This year the Chilean cherry production volume increased by 60% to 80%, yet the purchase price of Chinese importers did not drop in the slightest. The cherries arrived ten days later on the market this year than they did last year as a result of the bumper harvest of Chilean cherries and recent cold weather in China. According to estimates, Chile has already exported more than 30 million crates. According to statistics, 89.1% of the 150,000 tons of cherries exported from Chile is destined for Asia, and 94% of that is destined for China.

The price of imported cherries was around 110 yuan [16.93 USD] per kg in this same period last year. However, this year the cherries from New Zealand and Chile have had an uncommonly good harvest. The output volume increased, and therefore the export volume to China increased. Furthermore, because the arrival of cherries on the Chinese market was delayed, the price has dropped by half in comparison with the same period last year. This year the highest-quality cherries only cost 70 yuan [10.78 USD] per kg, the medium-quality cherries cost 50 yuan [7.70 USD] per kg, and the poorest quality cherries only cost 35 yuan [5.39] per kg.

Chinese importers travel overseas to select and purchase. This is particularly true for cherries, even to the extent that Chinese importers make down payments to overseas growers one year in advance. The import volume of fruit has continuously increased over the last few years, so that more and more high-quality fruit is gathered and traded. The trade proportion of overseas brands that previously sold well has decreased because of this new influx of fruit, and their favorable trade balance has dropped.


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