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Chile continues to be the largest exporter of cherries driven by sales to China

Chile continues to be the world's leading producer of cherries driven by Chinese consumption, said the president of the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta), Jorge Valenzuela, after the "International Cherry Market 2022 Yearbook" (from iQonsulting, sponsored by the Cherry Committee of Asoex and Fedefruta) was distributed.

“We are still number one. We account for 95 percent of the southern hemisphere's cherry production. We really are great at producing cherries and I think we should celebrate that and always congratulate our entire industry for these achievements," he said.

The representative of Fedefruta stressed that this fruit has a lot of added value. Taking a fresh product in 25 or 30 days to China, where it will be consumed in Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Beijing is no easy feat. There's a lot of technology, a lot of agronomic management, nutritional balance, post-harvest work, and controlled modified atmosphere behind this, he stressed.

According to the yearbook, the advance of Chilean cherries is unparalleled in Chile's export experience and the sustained growth in just over two decades has allowed the country to produce 445,500 tons and export 356,442 tons (71.3 million boxes of 5 kilos) in the recently completed 2021-2022 season.

The report highlighted that it took more than 20 years to reach that volume and that it was achieved because the Chinese market became interested in this fruit as an object of desire when opening the season and as the most precious gift for families to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The report also specifies that China was the main destination of Chilean cherries in the season that recently ended, accounting for 88.1 percent of all Chilean shipments (356,385 tons).

Likewise, Chilean cherry exports to the Asian country have doubled nominally between the 2017/2018 and the 2021/22 seasons, although there was a slight decrease in the last two periods due to the pandemic.

As a result, and driven by the consumption of the Asian country, the report forecasts that the next five years of the production of this fruit in the South American nation will be very good.

"Production will be very stable, with a range of new varieties for different production dates to be able to extend our supply, starting in early October until mid-February, to be able to supply the market for several months. The important thing is that they always have cherries," the report states.

The 2021-2022 cherry export season from the southern hemisphere ended with a total of 372,337 tons and Chile accounted for 95.7 percent of the supply exported by this area.

Chile's cherry exports have increased significantly since the last decade and producers have been resilient with respect to all the setbacks they have had to overcome during recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic and the various climatic events, the report adds.


Source: Fedefruta

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