Chilean fruit exports to U.S. drop 10%

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Chilean fruit exports to U.S. drop 10%

The U.S. has always been a key market for Chilean fruit exports but in 2019 there was a significant drop in shipments to the North American country. Reaching a total US$929m, exports to the U.S. declined by 10% overall this year.

According to historical data from the USDA, Chilean fruit in the destination market has consistently come to be over a billion dollars, so the decrease marks the first time it has been lower than a billion in five years.

Regarding Chilean citrus shipped to the country, oranges were the primary category imported to the U.S. and reached US$159m - a 23% decline for 2019.

However, this may be a larger trend of less imports into the U.S. in general as, for example, the second citrus exporter to the country, South Africa, saw its citrus exports fall 37% in the same year.

When it comes to table grapes, the USDA focuses on three main periods for U.S. imports. During the period between April 1 through June, Chile was in second place for table grape origin for the country with US$192.8m in total value.

Grape exports out of Chile to the market saw a rise of 1% relative to the previous year during this time. Though, it's important to note that the other two periods that the USDA accounts for saw a dip of 43% in the second period.

Peru also surpassed Chile in table grape imports during that time. But in the last trimester of U.S. table grape imports, Chile was the first country of origin for the U.S. even though export figures decreased by 5% during the same period.

In the other important category for Chile, cherries declined by 12% in export value, making about the same amount as in 2017 with US$27.8m in 2019.

While Chilean citrus, table grapes and cherries saw declines in 2019, apples noted a rise in exports. With a value of US$75.8m, Chilean apple exports to the U.S. increased by 27%.

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