Some 70% of cherries in the world are consumed in mainland China; 90% are supplied by Chile and many of these are exported from the ports of Valparaiso and San Antonio via Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA) has witnessed a growth of 54% in the 2020/21 Chilean cherry season, as it accommodated the growing demand for the fruit in the mainland China market.
A HKSPA spokesperson said: “China itself is a big grower and exporter of fruits. However, with the increasing purchasing power of mainland Chinese, the demand for imported fruits has seen a tremendous growth. Imports still only account for 2.5% of China’s total per capita fresh fruit consumption and the growth potential is huge.”
Chile is the largest supplier of fruits imported by China accounting for almost one quarter of the market, with cherries, citrus, table grapes, kiwis and apples increasing in popularity among Chinese consumers.