At the end of 2023, technological innovation helped Chilean cherry growers harvest their fruits 11 days earlier than usual, creating a competitive edge in the Chinese market.

Hector Sepulveda-Melita, a cherry farmer and exporter from Chile: " (In) the first week of November, we started with the earliest cherries and the season extends until the second or third week of January. Today we are talking about 80 to 85 million boxes, which is what (Chile) sends to the market, mainly the Chinese market, which absorbs between 93 and 95 percent of the cherry fruit produced in Chile.”

Chile is the world's largest exporter of cherries, with China being the main destination for the fruit. The peak season for cherries in China is from late December to early February, coinciding with the Lunar New Year celebrations when cherries are considered a symbol of good fortune and happiness.

While the Chilean cherry industry managed to harvest the fruit earlier this year, climate change has greatly affected production volumes, and in turn, increased the price of the fruit. The latest forecasts from the Chilean Cherry Committee, released on Nov 21, predict the export of almost 81.5 million cherry boxes, each weighing 5 kilograms. But the export of cherry boxes is down 14.6 percent compared to a year earlier.