Through the setbacks brought on by the pandemic, Chilean cherries reached historical levels during the 2019-2020 campaign, with China being a main consumer.
Jorge Valenzuela, the president of the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta), said Chile exported 23,000 tons of cherries last season, a historical volume equaling revenues of $1.4 billion dollars.
The Chilean cherry season started towards the end of October, and almost 85 percent of the fruit arrived in China before January 25, the Chinese New Year, where cherries are highly coveted.
Valenzuela said Chile has 38,000 hectares of cherries, which will rise to 50,000 hectares and reach 600,000 tons of cherries in the next few years.
iQonsulting market analyst, Gonzalo Salinas, said cherries are the third largest exports item in Chile, behind apples and table grapes.
Salinas also stated, “It should be noted that cherries have already exceeded the $1 billion exports barrier, a figured that has been maintained in these last three seasons and that is on the rise.”
Salinas emphasized that with export trends on the rise, Chile is consolidating cherries with 10 varieties of high quality, unlike grapes and blueberries.
According to data from Fedefruta, in the 2019-2020 season, the southern hemisphere exported a record 242,306 tons of cherries, including the increase in Chile, who exported 228,548 (27 percent more than the previous campaign).