Chilean cherry exports on the rise

Published on 28 June 2018

The excellent harvest of the last season allowed to reach record figures in the value of the exports of the berry.

The climatic conditions and the work in the expansion of the crops have led to cherry production reaching unprecedented levels. In fact, as the portal El Economista América highlights, already in December 2017, when three months of productive campaign were still missing, the historical record of the 2014 - 2015 season had been exceeded, in which 103,081 tons were exported, reaching up to 150,000 tons (close to fourth place in the global ranking, after Turkey, with around 500,000 tons, the United States, with some 300,000 tons, and Iran, with some 200,000 tons.

The producers have expanded their crops, and the crops have reached 30,000 hectares. It is important to point out that many of these have a high technological advance: a newspaper note, El Mercurio, highlighted that already in 2016, 15,000 hectares had been roofed with the purpose of avoiding the adverse effects of rains and frosts.

Near the close of the campaign, and after the Chinese new year, the date on which demand is especially high, the figure in terms of value was 62% higher than that of the full campaign of 2014 - 2015. Additionally, the fact of that the celebration in the Asian country occurred at a later date than the previous year (February 16, against January 28), allowed that it could be worked with greater advance in the commercial campaign, in which a significant effort on the part of the public and private sectors. Coincidentally, in 2015, the year in which the previous export record was given, the Chinese New Year was also celebrated at a late date (February 19), so that one can find an indication of a positive correlation between the advance of the date with respect to the year in the calendar, and the export of cherries.

The rise of the exports of cherry occurs in discordance with the situation of the rest of the Chilean fruit sector. The period in which its last export campaign was made coincided with a fall of 5.35% in terms of weight with respect to the same period of the previous year (September - February). However, it should be noted that this was not due to a negative event itself, but to the extraordinary production of 2016 and the first eight months of 2017.

In general, it is expected that Chilean production will continue to consolidate. Hernán Garcés, president of Agrícola Garcés, projected in a note from El Mercurio that the area sown with cherry crops could increase to 40,000 hectares in 2021.

This means that exports could increase at least 30% in terms of quantity, as soon as new plantations enter full production, five years after being planted. The main impulse comes from the Chinese demand, which has even led importers of that nationality to invest in packing plants. Chinese imports for 2017 amounted to 7,000 boxes, 75% more than in 2016 and, according to buyers, the quality of the fruit has been increasing. In view of this increase, if you plan to export cherries, it will probably help you to think about getting information about the Chinese business culture and your language.

For more information about the export of Chilean fruit, you can access the Veritrade portal.
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