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ASOEX's Cherry Committee

Chile expects a 16.7% increase in cherry exports

China is an important market for Chilean fruit exports and the main destination for the country's cherries, according to the president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (ASOEX), Ronald Bown.

This season, Chile hopes to break its cherry export record by exporting 210,000 tons of cherries to the world, i.e. 16.7% more cherries than in the previous season. Last year, the country exported 180,000 tons of cherries.

During the past season, 88% of the Chilean cherries were allocated to China, according to the Cherry Committee. According to Bown, they expect the 2019-2020 export campaign will be great, given the 5 million dollars they have invested to position the Chilean cherry among Chinese consumers.

According to estimates by the Cherry Committee, the aggregate export volume for this season is 42,042,798 standardized boxes of 5 kilos or 210,214 tons. "This is a product of great quality, taste, and that is ready to be enjoyed," said Bown.

A bigger supply of cherries in China
Another important consideration is the Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated on January 25, 2020, as this implies there will be a greater offer of cherries after the celebrations of the Spring Festival.

"There will be a greater supply of cherries available after the date, which means that we must adjust our promotional efforts and perform important actions after that celebration," Bown said.

According to Bown, this presents an opportunity and challenge for exporters, given that the harvest of the Chilean fruit is very popular in the Asian country.

Exports to China
The first cargo flight with more than 100 tons of cherries arrived on November 21 in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, eastern China. The first two ships of the season have already departed to China, according to Bown. The season started a little later than expected, but it has been developing within normal parameters.

Chilean exporters are optimistic about this season, as they expect to sell about 42 million boxes of five kilos worldwide. The government, in turn, expects cherry exports to generate income for more than 1.2 billion dollars. The Undersecretary of Agriculture of Chile, Alfonso Vargas, qualified it as an important amount. "Cherries have been transforming very quickly into our greatest product," he said.

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