Chilean fruit exports drop 5% year-on-year in 2019

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Chilean fruit exports drop 5% year-on-year in 2019

Chilean export volumes in 2019 were down 5% from the previous year, according to figures published by Odepa. The country exported 3.44 million metric tons (MT) of fruit with an FOB US$7.155m.

The industry says the decline was likely the consequence of smaller shipments and resulting lesser values of various fruits. Apples, kiwis and mandarins all saw declines in both volumes and value. In volumes, they shot down 13%, 16% and 15% respectively and in value, declined 16%, 8% and 16%. Markets bought less of the three fruits in 2019, says Odepa.

This final report comes after a 27% drop in the month of October alone.

While total export volumes were down, value was up by 0.5% year-on-year. Of the total exported fruit, 74% was fresh fruit and 18% was processed fruit like juices, concentrates and frozen fruit. 8% of exports were represented by dried fruit.

On the fresh fruit side, the industry generated US$5.3bn FOB from its exports of 2.68 million MT in 2019. This was a decline of 6.2% in fresh fruit exports but a rise of 2.3% in value.

Specific fruit central to Chilean fruit exports

Cherries were the most exported fruit out of the country with 220,000MT sent, generating an FOB value of US$1.471m. Exports of the fruit shot up this year 19% in volume and 30% in value. 

Grapes also continue to be an important export for Chile. With a total value of US$1.245m FOB, exports reached  653,000MT this season.

A majority of Chile's grapes were sent to the U.S. and China. The year ended with a decline of 10% in export volumes of the fruit year-on-year and an increase in value of 1.6%.

Apples came in third for numbers exported. With a total of 674,000MT - a corresponding value of US$621m FOB. A decline of 13% from 2018 and 16% less FOB than 2018, the main markets for the fruit were the U.S. and Colombia.

Chilean blueberries followed apples in exports with 112,000MT exported - a value of US$564m FOB.

Plums also saw a notable rise with volumes increasing 29% in 2019 and 22% in value compared to the same period last year. Exports of plums totaled 155,000MT and US$213m. The industry attributes this to more shipments to China. This shift changed up the distribution of exports to other countries.

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