Chilean cherry industry braces for next Chinese market season

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Chilean cherry industry braces for next Chinese market season

Fruit industry representatives are touring China as the country braces for the upcoming Chilean cherry season in the coveted Chinese market. 

The delegation includes Frutas de Chile President Iván Marambio, Cherry Committee Executive Director Claudia Soler, Marketing Director Ignacio Caballero, and Marketing Director for Asia and Europe Charif Christian Carvajal.

Marambio said the visit seeks to deepen the industry’s relationship with the Chinese people and their authorities. 

“This is why we go at least four times a year to China. This time we will visit the city of Kunming and see the local cherry production. We will meet with producers to see how to move forward, always together, to increase cherry consumption. We will also meet with Sichuan authorities,” he said.

Related articles: Chilean cherries close record-breaking 2023-24 campaign in China

China is the top market for Chilean cherries. In January of this year, exports to China reached a record volume of 365,968 metric tons (MT) by week 4. Cherry trade between the nations totaled 362,793 MT in 2020-21 and represented 87.6% of total exports for the sector. 

The United States is second among the top Chilean cherry buyers, with 17,727 MT imported during the same period. However, shipments to the U.S. grew by 34.6% as Chilean exporters tried to diversify export markets.

Chilean cherry production has grown consistently. Production has surpassed record volumes each year, due to the increase in planted area and an influx of young cherry orchards, USDA’s last stone fruit annual report stated.

The report estimated 2023-24 production at 500,000 metric tons (MT). If realized, this would represent a 6,6% increase over 2022-23 results. Exports are projected to reach 440,00 MT for a 7,2% rise year-on-year “assuming regular yields and higher area planted,” USDA said.

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