Chilean nectarines find success, vulnerability in China
Chile's white-flesh nectarines have found a lucrative market in Asia, where the fruit has enjoyed notable demand in mainland China.
A lack of a trade protocol could damage exporters in the long run, however. Although China shows strong demand for the fruit, Chile has yet to establish a trade agreement with the mainland, explained Terrafruit director Alvaro Larrondo.
"We are asking authorities and the exporters' association [ASOEX] to give priority to a trade agreement between Chile and China with respect to nectarines because currently, a treaty does not exist," Larrondo said from the company's office in Chile's Region VI (O'Higgins).
"Chile is sending around a million and half boxes of nectarines to the Far East and established protocol does not exist between the two countries."
Currently, the fruit must enter through Hong Kong, leaving Chile vulnerable to blockage.
"We are running a lot of risk that a Chinese governmental authority could, in any moment, close the border for nectarines because we done meet some protocol," he said.
"We have spoken with the exporters' association and they have said that they will be putting this on their priority list, if not for this year then the next. We find this urgent. If this is not addressed, it could become serious."
If Chile were to lose access to the Chinese market, Larrondo said it would be difficult to find alternative routes to sell white-flesh nectarines. He explained that the Latin American market does not have a taste for the variety.