Vanguard looking forward to strong Chilean cherry crop
Vanguard International says it is looking forward to the 2021-22 Chilean cherry season, amid early expectations for a 12 percent increase in volume compared to last year's record-smashing year.
"After the challenges encountered during last season, there is much anticipation for a strong cherry crop this year despite the global shipping challenges the industry is facing. September is a key month in Chile due to the risk of cold weather events," the company said in an update.
"The team in Chile is keeping a very close eye on the temperatures in these upcoming important weeks. Last season, Chile exported 352,783 tons, approximately 70mm boxes, which is 53% more volume compared with the prior 2019-2020 season. Assuming no major weather issues are had before this year’s harvest, this season’s crop estimation is approximately 400,000 tons (80mm boxes), a 12% volume increase compared to last year."
The actual forecasted volumes will not be available until the end of September, the company said. Taking a look at the planted area in Chile, this year the industry has an increase of roughly 2,000 hectares for a total of 42,000 hectares.
The primary planted varieties are Lapins, Santina, and Reginas.
"To date, cold hours have been tracking within normal parameters so the blossoms are looking strong and healthy. This cherry season looks to be seven days earlier compared with last year, which will assist Vanguard with reaching pre-sale deliveries and orders before Chinese New Year that falls on February 1, 2022," Vanguard said.
Some important points the team is keeping a close eye on in the coming days and weeks and will continue to report on include weather over the coming weeks and labor availability in October for cherry thinning.
Water will also be important, although Vanguard noted that as cherries are the first fruit in Chile to be harvested every summer, water issues should not be as big a concern as they will be for other fruits.
The final factor will be market distribution.
"Chile continues to experience challenges as most of the production continues to be exported to China. Last season we saw many delays in this market due to COVID-related issues, which have been well documented, so diversification is a must for the Chilean cherry industry," Vanguard said.
"Some markets we are focusing on to increase Chilean cherry sales include the USA, Europe, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Middle East. Vanguard continues to work with customers all around the world to support our Chilean cherry growers and expand."