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Chilean cherry exports to the U.S. expected to double this season

Cherries from Chile final

Chilean cherry exports to the U.S. are expected to repeat the dynamism of the previous season, while table grapes and blueberries are expected to decrease around 8 percent in volume.

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Karen Brux, marketing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) BB #:154283, the U.S. office of the Association of Exporters (ASOEX) BB #:156234, told Redagricola that “we expect a large volume increase in the U.S. market, and we will launch an expanded marketing program that will encompass both retail and consumer promotions.”

Brux explained that the marketing campaigns will invite consumers to “Cherrish Every Moment” with “Cherries from Chile” with the CFFA spreading this message through retail ads, point of sale material, social media posts, and a radio campaign in select cities across the U.S.

Chile has become the leading supplier of cherries in the southern hemisphere, delivering 96 percent of the world’s counter season supply. Last season’s exports exceeded 356,000 tons, reflecting a growth of 98 percent in three years when compared to the 179,927 tons exported in 2018-2019. It is projected that this season will incur another 25 percent increase.

According to figures from the Office of Agrarian Studies and Policies (Odepa), cherry exports to the U.S. totaled 4,638 tons in 2020 and rose to 7,615 tons in 2021. So far in 2022, the figure has already reached 9,328 tons.

“During the 2021-2022 season, cherry exports to the U.S. grew by 94 percent, which clearly demonstrates the industry’s strategy to diversify its export markets,” Brux said. “We expect exports to the U.S. to double again this 2022-2023 season.”

In the case of table grapes, the main market is North America, receiving 320,000 tons during the 2021-2022 season, equivalent to 53 percent of total world grape exports.

According to estimates by the Table Grape Committee, this year’s harvest will be 7.7 percent lower than last season. Despite this, there is enthusiasm in the sector for the percentage of new varieties, which for the first time will exceed 50 percent of the exported volume.

The projections of the Chilean Blueberry Committee-ASOEX estimate a volume of 98,228 tons of fresh Chilean blueberries for the 2022-2023 season. Shipments to the US market have already started and will continue until February. If the committee’s estimate is reached, it will mean a drop of 8 percent for the 2021-2022 season.


Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America for Blue Book Services