Chile predicts 32% rise in cherry exports
Ministry of Agriculture and Customs figures predict the country will ship 75,774 metric tons (MT) of the fruit this season thanks to a significant increase of new cherry orchard plantings.
Last season Chile shipped 70,227MT of the fruit.
Chile’s cherry orchards have increased by 25% since 2010-11 to 16,428 hectares as producers have found the fruit has delivered good returns despite the country’s peso strengthening significantly against the dollar.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report notes that over the last few years the country’s cherry orchards have increased from 1,500 to 2,500.
Report author Luis Hennicke said Chile had the advantage of cheap labor, good weather conditions and the ability to fill the gap of the Northern Hemisphere off-season.
South Africa’s temperatures are too high to produce cherries, Australia has water problems and New Zealand has insufficient land for production.
Chile supplies almost 80% of the off-season demand in the Northern Hemisphere despite accounting for just 2% of global production.
Industry experts predict Chile’s exports to Europe will continue to grow and will increase significantly in Asia.
Japan’s 8.5% import duty will drop to zero in the next six years and Chile’s agreement with China is set to see a significant reduction in the current 10% duty within the next three years.
The key export months for Chile’s cherries are December and January which account for 90% of shipments during the export period of November to February.
However, peach and nectarine exports are expected to show a 6% dip to 93,800MT as areas planted since 2010-11 have decreased by 3.6% to 8,600 hectares.
Nearly 50% of Chile’s peach and nectarine volumes are exported to the U.S. with Latin America the second largest export market at 23% followed by Europe at 15%.
More than 95% of peaches and nectarines are exported through December to April with shipments peaking in Feburary when 30% of the total volume is sent.
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