So far, Chilean exporters have mostly avoided the current problems in Chinese ports, caused by the interruption of activity in the port of Yantian due to an outbreak of COVID-19, but they remain cautious. In fact, the unions continue to monitor what is happening in the terminals of the provinces of Shenzhen and Canton, which receive about 10% of the Chilean cargo sent to China (mostly fresh fruit, wood and copper).
The president of Fedefruta, Jorge Valenzuela, said that, at the moment, products such as citrus are being shipped to the Asian giant in smaller volumes than during the high season. They are arriving at other ports that specialize in the loading of perishable products.
"The marketing of the Chilean citrus fruits exported to China has so far not been significantly affected," says Valenzuela. "However, we are naturally keeping an eye on the situation, because this outbreak in the port of Shenzhen has raised the concerns of all international traders and taken a toll on maritime trafﬁc."
For his part, the president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (Asoex), Ronald Bown, said that what is happening in Yantian "is an issue that worries us, because it could cause shortages of refrigerated containers, which are getting stuck in Asia and not returning to Chile. This is something that we already experienced in the middle of the fruit season."
ProChile is also monitoring the situation from Santiago and from the Asian giant through its commercial directors in China. "The authorities of this country have confirmed that the situation in the port of Yantian should already be under control and that operations will resume from the early hours of Thursday 24 local time," says the general director of the service, Jorge O'Ryan, adding that the offices in that country "will remain watchful over the development of this situation in order to support and guide Chilean exporters."