Over the eight-month period, cherry exports grew by a massive 187% to US$856 million, while blueberry exports rose by 39% to US$484 million, and fresh plums by 15% to US$158 million.
The figures were recently released by trade promotion agency ProChile.
Cherry export volume during the 2017-18 season nearly doubled year-on-year to exceed 180,000 metric tons (MT).
The growth in fruit exports contributed to a 15% overall rise in non-copper exports from Chile, which reached US$27 billion over the period.
“This is great news for the country. While all export sectors registered positive figures, non-copper exports registered the highest figures since records began, which reinforces the country’s intention to diversify its export basket, with greater added value,” said ProChile director Jorge O’Ryan Schütz.
Cherry hectarage overtakes grapes in O’Higgins
In Chile’s main cherry production region, O’Higgins, there are now 13,699 hectares of cherry orchards, marking growth of 58% – or 5,024 – hectares since 2015, according to figures from Ciren.
This means that cherries have now overtaken table grapes – which grew by 9% to 13,435 hectares since 2015 – as the region’s most planted fruit crop.
The varieties that saw the biggest growth were Lapins and Satina, which more than doubled over the period, each now representing around a quarter of planted hectarage.