Chilean cherry producers expect to export up to 220,000 tons of cherries in the upcoming harvest season from October to January next year, a substantial increase from 180,000 tons last year, local media reported Monday.
The growth was credited to the cold temperatures, which help improve the quality and the yields, and the efforts to promote the product among Chinese consumers and increase market shares in China, according to the newspaper El Mercurio.
Sebastian Warnier, agricultural manager of Chile's largest fruit exporter Garces Fruit, told the newspaper that this year's weather "helped quite a lot."
Garces Fruit has forecast that the Chilean cherry industry would export 1 billion U.S. dollars worth of cherries annually, with 80 percent to be shipped to China.
Decofrut, a multinational fruit quality control firm based in Santiago, told the daily that China offers Chilean cherry exporters "opportunities for good returns" on their investment in promotion and speedy shipping.
"Last season was one of the best in recent years for cherries. Chile offered a good quality fruit ... and the Chinese market responded," said Decofrut's president Manuel Jose Alcaino.