Chile’s cherry exports totaled 180,000 tons in marketing year (MY) 2018/19 and 87 percent of all exports went to the Chinese market. For the past five years, Chile’s cherry planted area has grown consistently at a 10 percent rate, adding up to 37,000 hectares (ha) in MY2019/20. Post projects cherry exports to increase 15 percent in MY2019/20, reaching 207,000 tons, as new orchards become productive.
Fresh peach and nectarine planted area totaled 7,428 ha in MY2018/19. Chilean nectarine exports have shifted rapidly from the United States to China after gaining market access in 2016. Experts expect the planted area to remain steady while production and exports will likely increase one percent in MY2019/20, totaling 57,000 tons and 98,300 tons, respectively.
In MY2018/19 cherry exports reached 179,973 tons, a 2.58 percent decrease over MY2017/18. However, export value increased by 4.6 percent totaling $830 million. China remains, by far, the top market for Chilean fresh cherries. Chilean exporters shipped 157,710 tons (87 percent) to China in MY2018/19 (data through May 2019), one percent increase over MY2017/18.
Chilean exports to China are expected to remain steadily increasing, since China’s demand for fresh fruit continues to be strong and Chile keeps takes full advantage of its strong commercial relationship with China.
The United States is the second top export destination for Chilean cherries. However, exports to the United States represent only 2.7 percent of total Chilean fresh cherry exports. Additionally, in MY2018/19, Chilean fresh cherry exports to the United States decreased by 36 percent over MY2017/18, totaling 4,852 tons.
The third largest market for Chilean Cherry exports is South Korea. In 2016, South Korea granted market access to Chilean fresh cherries. Since then, Chilean exports to South Korea have grown consistently, totaling 4,147 tons in MY2018/19, which represents a 56 percent increase over MY2017/18.
Assuming regular climatic conditions, as new orchards become productive, Chilean cherry exports will probably increase by 15 percent in MY2019/20 reaching 207,000 tons.