The current situation of Chilean exports to China has caused concern.The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rodrigo Yañez, the Ministers of Finance, Economy, and Mining, and the National Director of ProChile, held a meeting with the different exporting guilds of Chile to analyze the consequences that the outbreak of the coronavirus in China is having and will have on the Chilean export sector.
After the meeting, Rodrigo Yañez stated that, although the situation is complex and requires permanent monitoring, exports are slowly flowing. Thus, it will be key to monitor the development of the situation in China in the next few weeks when trade is reactivated.
"We are monitoring the situation from a multi-sectoral perspective, but also calling for calm in the sense that exports are flowing properly," he said. "The fruit sector, in particular, is the one that faces a more special situation, especially cherries, as their main market is China," he added.
“While there is concern within the sector, we must expect the development of the market in the coming weeks, when more than 600 million consumers return to their usual activities,” the general manager of ASOEX, Miguel Canala-Echeveria, stated.
He also noted that the sector is concerned about the number of people killed and affected by the virus in China; which is why they are coordinating actions with the Chinese authorities to donate fresh fruits and medical supplies to hospitals and health centers in the cities most affected by the disease.
Regarding the actions to move the Chilean fruit that is in China, the leader said: “We are refurbishing our promotion campaign, strengthening the actions in e-commerce and delivery platforms, since 28% of our cherry exports are marketed regularly by this sector. We are also highlighting the health benefits that Chilean fresh fruits have, for we know that in 2003 when there was the outbreak of the SARS virus, people began to consume citrus fruits in an important way."
Canala-Echeverria also stated that there were currently 1,600 containers with Chilean fruits destined for China, which is why we are working with the authorities of the SAG so that there is an acceleration of the phytosanitary certificates that are required for the re-destination of some of these shipments to other markets in the area. In addition, he said, they were coordinating with ProChile to gain more support for the development of promotions in China, to boost consumption.