China consolidates itself as the main destination for Chilean cherries

Chile expects to beat its cherry export record this season, as it expects to export 210,000 tons, i.e. 16% more than in the previous season. China, a country that last season received 88% of all Chilean cherry exports, is the main destination market for this fruit, stated the president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (Asoex), Ronald Bown.

In an interview with the Chinese digital media Xinhua, Bown said they expected to have a great campaign in the 2019-2020 season, given the 5 million dollars they had invested this year to position the Chilean cherry among Chinese consumers.

Another important factor is the celebration of the Chinese New Year on January 25, 2020, which will imply a greater supply of the fruit due to the celebrations of the Spring Festival, which is based on the lunar calendar. According to Bown, the occasion represents an opportunity for cherry exporters, as well as a challenge, given that the harvest of the Chilean fruit, which is popular in the Asian country even in low season, coincides with the celebration and cherries are regarded as a precious present in China.

The first cargo flight with more than 100 tons of cherries arrived in the city of Ningbo, in the province of Zhejiang, on November 21, after a flight of more than 30 hours from Chile. In addition, the first two ships of the season have already sailed to China, Bown stated.

The Chilean cherry harvest usually begins in November and ends in February of the following year. Cherry production mainly takes place in the regions of O'Higgins and Maule.

Chilean cherry exporters are also optimistic about this season and expect to sell around 41.8 million boxes of five kilos of cherries worldwide, according to Asoex data.

In turn, the government expects cherry exports will amount to 1.2 billion dollars during the current season.

In 2018, Chilean forestry, livestock and agricultural product exports to China stood out. That year, the Asian country displaced the United States as the main market for Chilean agro-exports, according to data from the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa) of Chile.

The products with greater shipments abroad were cherries, wine with designation of origin, grapes, apples, blueberries, frozen swine meat, among other forestry, livestock, and agricultural products.



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