Chilean cherries: Supplies accumulate in China but sales continue to improve
The situation in the Chinese cherry market remains troubling for Chilean exporters, with some 2,000 containers more arriving over the past weekend, but there is hope that the conditions could improve over the coming days.
Jorge Valenzuela, president of Fedefruta told FreshFruitPortal.com that the fruit has been accumulating over the past days. Last week there were almost 8,000 containers of fruit that could be “compromised” in terms of price and movement. The fruit and market conditions will be closely observed over the next several days.
He clarified that the cherries are still in good condition.
“We had a very good spring with little rain. That is to say, in terms of the fruit’s condition, of quality, it’s good, it’s firm, it’s healthy,” he said.
In the Chilean industry, hope still exists for a positive outcome. In fact, the communication strategy has begun to create a moderate consumption movement. This sends good signals to the market, despite the ongoing low prices.
Valenzuela explained the movement was a product of retailers beginning to buy again. “If that can be restored, I think we could return to normal flows," he said.
“The Chinese New Year es on Feb 12. Therefore, we are hopeful that this week the sales rate will increase significantly and we will be able to get out of this fruit backup. "
He emphasized that the situation is still developing so it will be necessary to continue the constant monitoring of the market.
The hope seen in the Chilean fruit industry seems to be reflected by Chinese importers.
Liu Wenpo, president of Beijing Runfuyuan Trading Co., told FreshFruitPortal.com that cherry sales have been heavily affected by this incident, falling around 70 percent while the price of cherries has been cut almost in half.
However, the importer affirmed that although it could take a bit of time, the cherry market could recover soon and consumers are starting to regain confidence in the fruit.
This message was reinforced by Feng Zijian, deputy director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who said that a positive nucleic acid does not mean that cherries are necessarily contagious.
Communication campaign update
Thursday afternoon, Jan 28, Chilean fruit exporters' association Asoex reported that there was a better movement in the rotation of cherries in the wholesale markets and a new rise in price levels.
This, according to the associations, indicates a “path to recovery”, reaffirming the comments of Valenzuela and Liu Wenpo.
However, the statement released by SNA, Asoex, Fedefruta, and the ASOEX Cherry Committee, also that market conditions present before the contingency are yet to be achieved
Additionally, the statement said that the second stage of the recovery strategy has begun to be implemented in promotion activities. In this stage, videos have been published with opinion leaders on social networks to encourage the consumption of Chilean cherries.
Reportedly, more than 11 publications have been made through recognized Chinese media sources, within the framework of the ASOEX Cherry Committee’s promotional campaign, delivering a clear message about the safety of consuming cherries and that it does not present any health risk.
The press release closed with the statement “Despite the seriousness of what has happened, there have been three days of improvement, for which reason the promotional actions implemented will continue to be intensified through significant investment by the Asoex Cherry Committee, in coordination with our authorities, and together with highlighting the excellent relations between the two countries."