Chilean fresh fruit exports rose by 6.7% year-on-year during the 2017-18 season, driven by China (mainland and Hong Kong) which saw a massive 45% growth.
The Chilean Fruit Exporters’ Association (ASOEX) said the total shipments to all destinations during the 2017-18 season reached a total of 2.78 million metric tons (MT), while to China they increased to 390,218MT.
The Far East region overall saw 30.7% growth to 626,729MT.
“This increase is explained, mainly in Asia and China, by the record volumes reached in cherries and blueberries,” said ASOEX president Ronald Bown.
“In the case of cherries, the growth reached 96%, which led this produce item to become, for the first time, the third most exported fruit in Chile.
“This growth reflects the great interest that the Asia-Pacific markets have acquired for the fruit export sector, where China has become a key market. We believe that Asia, especially China, will soon be the main market for Chilean fruit shipments.”
Meanwhile, exports to Europe rose by 10.3% to 658,711MT during the 2017-18 season. To North America, they declined by 2.6%, although the region remains Chile’s most important market, with a 32% share.
“The Chilean fruit industry is looking to diversify exports, promote new markets and niches, as well as open new market destinations”, said Brown.
“[But] this does not mean that we will stop supplying traditional markets, since we have established solid relationships and programs with them.”
After cherries, clementines registered the second-highest export growth, rising by 53.9% to 63,048MT.
“For the second time, apples are the most exported fruit in Chile, since traditionally the country’s fruit exports had been led by table grapes, with volumes that make Chile the leading exporter of table grapes in the world,” said Bown.