Chile notches strong rise in cherry exports

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Chile notches strong rise in cherry exports

Chilean fruit union Fedefruta says the country's cherry industry is on track for a record season of 14 million cartons.

Fedefruta president Antonio Walker says expectations are high for shipments abroad with several factors working in the industry's favor during the season to date.

"We expect to register the largest volume in (our) history this season. We had everything. Good quality fruit, good yields, good size, and the weather was also with us, which is fundamental for cherries," he says.

Walker adds that 11.5 million cartons have been sent during the season so far, while in the period to week 52 exports were up 12% year-on-year at 57,196 metric tons (MT).

He highlights Far East exports have risen by 46% year-on-year, while sharp growth was also seen in Latin America and the Middle East with rates of 19.1% and 17.4% respectively.

Viveros Rancagua manager Claudio Vergara says this season has been better with quality, which should lead to good fruit rotation in Asia.

"We saw that orchards that were overloaded last year had a lower burden this year, which resulted in higher quality fruit. We could say it has been a season of fewer kilos per hectare, but with better fruit," he says.

"The quantity of fruit that is arriving in Asia is much larger than in past years because the market has its sights set on China, but so far we don't know how to respond. What we do know is that the fruit is of better quality and that should generate better movement."

Private consultant Oscar Ortega emphasizes that Chile's unique characteristic as an exporter is its distance from markets, which means quality needs focus on improving quality must continue.

"We need varieties that are suitable for our situation with good quality of the fruit and its traveling condition," he says.

"Our country is the largest grower and exporter in the Southern Hemisphere. (If we) Master the counter-season market with good quality, imagine what we would be able to look after."

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