U.S. cherry exports see sharp drop to South Korea, but steady overall

October 10 , 2019

U.S. cherry exports saw a small dip during the 2019 season, amid a sharp decline to the South Korean market and modest gains in most other key destinations.

Exports through August fell by 4% in value year-on-year to US$460m, while in volume they dropped by 2% to 78,000 metric tons (MT), USDA data shows.

But shipments to South Korea - last year the U.S.'s most valuable cherry export market - dropped by 20% in value to US$96m and by 22% in volume to 11,200MT.

Meanwhile, exports to China - which in last year significantly increased tariffs on U.S. fruit imports - fell by 9% in value to US$72m and by 7% in volume to 12,100MT. Although those year-on-year drops are relatively small, they mark a considerable reduction since 2017, when exports to China totaled 22,200MT - equivalent to US$119m.

South Korea and China were the only two top-six markets where the U.S. saw a drop in cherry exports. 

Exports to Canada rose by 2% to US$117m, while to Taiwan they increased by 3% to US$50m.

Over the same period, exports to Hong Kong grew by 5% to US$37m and to Japan they rose by 7% to US$27m.