A representative of China-based Shanghai Riverking Import Trade believes that the quality of Chilean cherries is higher this year as a result of lower yields in the country than last year.
General manager Owen Ou said that for blueberries, the quality seemed to be similar to last year.
A load of 30 metric tons (MT) of Chilean cherries and blueberries arrived on Nov. 8 at Ningbo Airport, which lies to the south of Shanghai.
“In general the cherries are better than last year, [and] the size is much better, due to the lower yield per tree that Chile has had this year,” Ou said.
“The improvement in quality has stimulated sales in the Chinese market. For now, prices of cherries remain high, and the market remains as good as in recent years.”
According to Ou, Chilean cherries have lost between 15 – 20 percent of their yield per tree. However, he expected that new plantings coming online would partially offset the lower yields.
He is also expecting large cherry volumes for the second half of the season, “which could bring great challenges to the industry’s ability to deal with them”.
But he said that Chile should be better able to manage the large volumes than last year due to improvements in the supply chain.