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Rain drops Chile’s early cherry production 50%

Cherries from Chile final

In areas of Curicó, Chile, an important center for the production of cherries at the national level, some orchards will only be able to harvest 20 or 40 percent of what was initially budgeted due to storms and “out of program” rainfall, according to Fedefruta.

Headshot of Marco Campos, Produce Blue Book's media coordinator for Latin America.

“Now that we are in December, the volume of cherry harvests in the different regions of our country increases exponentially every day,” said Jorge Valenzuela, president of Fedefruta and Malloa cherry producer. “That’s why we remind all producers that the most important thing is to maintain our quality and be consistent.”

The decline in early cherry production continues to rise due to the spring rains. In the first days of November, it was thought that the loss was 30 percent, due to split cherries. Now, Fedefruta, the federation that represents all of Chile’s fruit producers, detects a generalized decrease of 50 percent of early harvests, mainly in the Royal Dawn and Santina varieties.

“Today, with the early cherry work already finishing in the O’Higgins Region, we are seeing losses of 50 percent in the harvest of these varieties, with areas reported as Curicó, with even 60 and 80 percent losses,” Valenzuela said.

“The situation has become clearer now that we are packing and transporting the fruit, and with what we have observed in recent days, we believe that cherry export estimates will naturally be below 80 million boxes.”

The fruit leader also mentioned that this decrease was due to the few hours of cold accumulated during winter, which complicated flowering and fruit set in early varieties.


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