Cherries overtake grapes as Chile's main export - FreshFruitPortal.com

Cherries overtake table grapes as Chile's number-one exported fruit

Cherries overtook table grapes as Chile's leading fruit export by value in 2019, according to local media.

Exports of cherries rose by a massive 45% year-on-year to reach US$1.6bn, reported the Diario Financiero citing figures from Chile's Central Bank.

Meanwhile, table grape exports by the end of December had contracted by 3% to US$1.2bn.

The development comes amid expectations of a record cherry crop in the 2019-20 season, as well as a push to get fruit to China in time for Chinese New Year on Jan. 25.

In fact, this past December saw cherry exports of US$530m, more than double the US$241m in the same month last year.

The 2018-19 season also saw high volumes.

At the same time, the table grape industry has been struggling with numerous challenges including an ongoing drought, higher international competition and lower profitability.

Chile's total agricultural exports in 2019 rose by 2% to US$6.6bn.

Currently, there are around 50,000 planted hectares of cherries in the country. The figure has been rising amid strong demand in the Chinese market.