Chile: O'Higgins will export almost 30% more cherries to Asia

According to statistics of the Agricultural and Livestock Service, SAG, the region exported just over five million boxes of cherries in the 2012-2013 season. Last year the region exported more than nine million boxes. The SAG calculates that in the season that will begin in December, the region will export 12 million boxes of cherries.

The cherry boom, as the people inside the body responsible for the protection of the country's phytosanitary patrimony call the phenomenon, has been caused, in part, by the high profitability of the fruit and the security of purchase in China, whose markets took 82 percent of the shipments in the previous season.

"We expect a large production of cherries this season because of the large number of hectares planted with cherries and because of the favorable climatic conditions to date. Unlike the previous season, when a frost in September 2016 affected flowering, this year's crop wasn't affected by this climatic phenomenon. Furthermore, the rains have been benevolent with the crop, as they didn't produce great losses, and there is a large amount of fruit in the trees waiting to mature," said Danol Quintanilla, the regional coordinator of Agricultural and Forestry Exports at the SAG.

Although Chile currently represents 2% of the world production of cherries, this small proportion represents 85% of the production of the Southern Hemisphere, which makes Chile the protagonist in the counter-season production. Experts indicate that 86% of shipments went to Asia, mainly to China.

At a national level, Chile exported 17.8 million boxes of cherries during the 2015-2016 season. For the 2016-2017 season, they expected to export some 30 million boxes. Unfortunately, that number was diminished by almost 6 million by the frosts and rains that affected the harvest. This season, as there haven't been any rains during the harvest, expectations are that the national production will amount to 34 million boxes of fruit.

"We expect a high concentration of crops in the month of December and a substantial increase in the amount certified, so our region could produce more than 12 million boxes, which will involve a lot of work for the producing and exporting sector, as well as for the SAG, which should reinforce our inspection teams," said Quintanilla.


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