Claudia Soler Bottinelli, executive director of the Chilean Cherry Committee and the entire industry have reason to celebrate the Chinese New Year – they reached a 24% increase in tons with solid sales in this period.
This caps a near flawless export season from Chile, after a couple of challenging years, with the hard work, coordination and efforts that has seen 85% of the export volume of 357 803 tons of cherries reach China and Hong Kong before the important and earliest Chinese New Year celebrations that started yesterday (Sunday, 22 January, 2023).
Chile's Asoex and Chinese partners
“So far we are positive on how the season has been performing. We have experiencing stable prices and good rotation of our fruit. Up to week 2, we have exported to China and Hong Kong, 357.803 tons, an increase of 24% in comparison to last season. Additionally, 85% of all Chilean cherry exports to China arrived and have been distributed prior to the Chinese New Year, with the remaining 15% being distributed either during or after the holiday period,” States Soler.
This season is also the first time in three years that the Chilean cherry industry could physically visit China and see out the entire campaign. Arrivals could be monitored, important season launch events and other promotional activities could be attended to as well. Importantly the Chileans could look their Chinese partners as well as end consumers in the eyes to see how they personally enjoy this special fruit after a mammoth planning and execution to ensure the volumes arrive in time.
Claudia Soler Bottinelli, executive director of the Chilean Cherry Committee
“One of the first market visit activities we implemented was that in coming to China, once travel restrictions had been lifted. It is important for the sector that our partners perceive that we were eager to strengthen both commercial and personal ties with them as well as understand first-hand the changes that have occurred in the market place during the past few years, in which it has been difficult to travel to China. We are pleased about what we have seen in terms of movement and sales of our cherries. We have had a robust agenda that included the inauguration of the cherry express in the port of Dalian, media interviews, wholesale market visits, retail visits, and cooperation activities with online partners and port visits among others. We have been working on all the aspects involved in facilitating the exports of fresh Chilean cherries. The sector has taken important efforts this season to diversify destination ports as well as collaborating very closely with local importers and shipping lines to facilitate a rapid arrival of our product. Furthermore, we have invested important resources in promoting our cherries in both on and off-line channels with the objective of positioning Chile as the main producer of quality cherries and spearheading the increase of cherry consumption before and after the Chinese New Year,” explains Soler.
Iván Marambio, President of Asoex
“We have had a couple of challenging seasons, however so far the season has had a positive evolution and has been well perceived by producers and exporters in Chile. Despite the obstacles we have faced in the past, China is and will continue to be our main fresh cherry export partner in the world. We are committed to supply the Chinese market with the best our country has to offer in terms of quality produce that meet the demanding requirements of the Chinese consumer. We seek to stimulate new consumption occasions and build consumer confidence in the quality and safety of Chilean cherries and inspire an emotional connection with our product. We are convinced this market has important future growth potential especially through penetrating second and third tier cities. We will continue visiting and investing in the development of this market. We have great friends here, with whom we want to continue working together,” concludes Soler.