The coronavirus outbreak in China, one of the main markets for Chilean fruit, has forced the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (Asoex) to monitor the export of fresh Chilean fruits to Asian markets. The disease, according to the entity, has not yet generated problems in the flow of fruit shipments to Asia.
"So far our exports are carried out normally." "However, we are monitoring any possible effect that the coronavirus could have on our collaborators and commercial agents, as well as on the consumption of our fruits, especially in the markets that are suffering most from the disease, such as China, a market to which we send cherries, table grapes, apples, plums, kiwis, nectarines, avocados, blueberries, and pears. We hope to start citrus exports to that market this year too,” said Ronald Bown, the president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile.
The country's cherry exports, the main product sent to China during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, amount to 228,225 tons to date, i.e. 27.7% more than in the same period of 2018-2019.
“Many of our cherries were sold before the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. In addition, there is fruit sent after this holiday, so making any balance on the effects of the coronavirus now would be precipitate. We know that sales have been a bit slower at the retail level, but that they have momentum in online and delivery platforms. This is because people are on vacation. Some people are avoiding going out, and stay in their homes, as the authorities suspended public celebratory activities to avoid further contagion in some locations,” Bown added.
The president of Asoex said they would continue to monitor the situation in all markets, and that they would release any information in due course.