Chile's cherry sector had an unprecedented campaign in the 2020-2021 season. The country exported 352,949 tons of cherries, i.e. 54.4% more than in the previous season, according to data released by the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta) and the consulting firm iQonsulting.
The Cherry was Chile's leading fruit export in terms of value with more than 1.853 million FOB dollars collected until February, according to data from the Office of Agrarian Studies and Policies (Odepa) of the Ministry of Agriculture.
"The season was surprising, with almost 71 million boxes exported and a 96.3% share of world supply (compared to cherries exported by the southern hemisphere), which demonstrate the power of the production chain and the supply of fruits," stated Gonzalo Salinas, iQonsulting market analyst, in the virtual presentation of the cherry yearbook.
According to Salinas, the local cherries industry has reached an unprecedented size in recent years, as more than 4,000 hectares come into production each year. Production was also helped by the favorable rains that helped alleviate the water shortage this season.
The Chinese market acquired 322,662 tons, i.e. 55% more than in the previous campaign, accounting for 91.4% of all exports.
"China is a gigantic market, with much still to be explored," stated the president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile's (Asoex) Cherry Committee, Cristian Tagle. "That's why we're placing greater emphasis on communication with regional entities, to connect with the provinces," he said during the launch of the yearbook.
Tagle also stressed the need to continue diversifying the markets for this fruit with more strength and conviction to avoid uncertainty and volatility. However, he recognized that China was the most important market at present and that it would undoubtedly continue to be an important part of this industry in the future.
Analyst Gonzalo Salinas said the Chinese market was very good and had rapid changes, and that they expected demand would increase in the following season when things are normal again.
In this context, the signs of recovery shown by the Chinese economy in 2020 after the impact of the health crisis, anticipated a good season for this sugary fruit. At the same time, Chile was showing signs it would have a copious harvest and the sector focused its efforts to improve logistics and to highlight the safety of the harvesting, packing, and export processes.
Complete video of the 2020/2021 Cherry Yearbook from iQonsulting.
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