Cherries have managed to unseat table grapes and become Chile's leading agricultural export product in 2019, with shipments for 1.562 billion dollars, i.e. 44.7% more than in the previous year. According to data from the Central Bank, up to December 2019, the country's grape exports amounted to 1.194 billion, i.e. 2.8% lower than in 2018.
In general terms, the agricultural sector registered a good performance this year, accumulating 6.559 billion dollars in 12 months and ending it with a 2.2% increase.
By product, cherries stood out for good performance during much of the year, even though its peak period is between November 20 and December 20. In the last month of the year, there were shipments for 530 million dollars, i.e. more than twice the 241 million dollars achieved in the same month of the previous year.
This trend has led to an adjustment in the areas intended for this crop. Historically, there were about 60,000 hectares of table grapes in Chile, which produced 100 to 110 million export boxes per year. This, however, has changed. According to data from Fedefruta, currently, there are nearly 47,000 hectares devoted to growing grapes. Meanwhile, there already are 50,000 hectares of cherries.
One of the factors that explain this redistribution is the behavior of demand, mainly from China.