Asia, North and Latin America

First Chilean cherries on the move

According to information from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), the first Chilean cherries are already bound for Asia, North and Latin America. Some 2.466 boxes of fresh cherries have been sent by air, and even though they represent a lower volume in comparison to last season, this volume reflects the beginning of the Chilean cherry export season to an array of exports markets – especially to the Peoples Republic of China.

In early October, the industry had made an initial forecast that indicated an increase in fresh cherry exports from Chile, between 10% to 15% for the season 2015-2016. This would have represented a new record of shipments, however, given the adverse climatic conditions that have occurred in Chile and that are expected to continue until mid-December 2015, such an increase will not be possible to achieve, and hence forecasts have been lowered and it is expected that export volumes will be similar to those registered last season.

"We're having a wet spring, with at least three important rains and the forecast from the Meteorological Office of Chile, have indicated that this situation of rains may continue until mid-December as a result of El Niño. This has meant greater costs in phytosanitary applications in comparison to last year at this same date, as well as less fruit and a delayed harvest, "said Ronald Bown, Chairman of the Board of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX).

This situation, especially in regards to the delayed harvest, explains the lower volumes of the first shipments of Chilean cherries recorded to date, in comparison to the same period 2014-2015.

The Chairman of ASOEX, added that it is necessary to remember that the weather events that had occurred lately, have local characteristics of different magnitudes; "This is why the snowfall, hail or high intensity rains, which have been confined to specific growing areas, prevent us from making more precise estimates of its effects, especially for the cherry crop. We know of fruit losses in some areas, due to hail and rain, but it has been concentrated to those places only. Nevertheless we do not expect significant increases in the volume of exports of cherries for this season, so perhaps we could see exports reach a similar figure as last season."

Notably, during the 2014-2015 season, Chile exported a total of 103,079 tons of fresh cherries to different export markets, which represented a 50.38% increase in shipments; compared to the same period during the 2013-2014 season. The main export markets included Asia with 85,013 tons, followed by North America (United States and Canada) with 8,994 tonnes; Latin America with 4,981 tons and 110 tons being exported to the Middle East.

For more information:
Charif Christian Carvajal M.
Asociación de Exportadores de Frutas de Chile, A. G.
Tel: +34 915247437 (Spain)
or +56 24724700 (Chile)

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