Chile's fresh fruit exports jump, U.S. arrivals down
The country shipped 2.64 million metric tons (MT) of fruit during the season, despite shipments to the U.S. dropping 3.8% year-on-year to 862,228 metric tons (MT).
Exports to the U.S. were pushed down by falls for table grapes (-6.72%), apples (-26.2%) and avocadoes (-34%), but other fruits showed growth like pomegranates (677.7%), mandarins (96.6%), cherries (82.3%), blueberries (43%) and oranges (34.9%).
ASOEX reported exports to Europe rose 0.6% driven by significant growth in hazelnuts and plums, while rapid shipment growth was seen in the destination markets of the Far East (28.4%), Latin America (26.3%) and the Middle East (10%).
Growth in the Far and Middle East
ASOEX president Ronald Bown says Chile's cherry exports have shot up 73.2%, largely due to a 91.2% spike in shipments of the fruit to China, with 7,211MT recorded for the season. Other fruit categories also shined in China such as table grapes (152.2%), plums (55.8%) and kiwifruit (192.2%).
Total exports volumes to Asia were 342,771MT with 57.1% growth for Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, but the fastest-growing export destination in the continent was Indonesia at 221.9%. Shipments to India grew at a rate of 24.9%.
The fastest growth for any product in Asia was almonds at 195.5%, while sales also increased for pears (119%) and clementines (114.1%).
Shipments to the Middle East reached 149,520MT with apples representing 79% of total volumes. Saudi Arabia continues to be the main buyer in the region, but growth was seen in Iran (59.2%), Egypt (88.6%) and Bahrain (230.5%).
Northern Hemisphere importers will need to take note of Chile's rapid export growth in its own region, now edging towards the 20% mark of total shipments with volumes of 524,640MT.
The highest growth was seen for plums (55.9%), grapefruit (54.6%) and cherries (43.9%), with Colombia as the leading destination market at 114,456MT. Other markets registered strong growth in imports from Chile such as Venezuela (306.7%), Brazil (55.2%) and Mexico (20.4%).
The leading fruits
Table grapes continued to be the leading fruit export product with a volume of 852,591MT, which represents around a third of total shipments and is just short of the country's entire fruit exports to the U.S. in terms of weight.
Apples came in as the second-most exported fruit with growth of 6.2%, while kiwifruit came in third with around 7% of Chile's export volume. Blueberry shipments grew 39.6% and plum exports jumped 36.8%.