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Asia Surpasses US in Chilean Fruit Consumption
Consumers in the United States are accustomed to seeing “Product of Chile” labels affixed to fruit packaging in grocery stores throughout the country. Now, consumers in Asia will have a similar experience. New statistics released by the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), a non-profit entity representing Chile’s fresh fruit growers and exporters, provide valuable insights on current shifts in the global fresh fruit market.
Statistics for the current marketing year show that Chile exported a total of 1,686,346 tons of fruit between Sept. 1, 2020, and April 19, 2021. Of that amount, 613,691 metric tons (36.4%) were exported to Asian markets, an increase of 15.28% over the same period of 2019–20. This increase is primarily attributable to the sudden uptick in cherry exports to China. The United States, which has historically been the largest consumer of Chilean fruit exports, accounted for 476,843 tons this year, bumping the country down to second place.
Other large importers of Chilean fruit include Europe (276,432 tons), Latin America (253,436 tons), the Middle East (35,456 tons) and Canada (30,488 tons).
During the 2020–21 marketing year, Chile’s top fruit exports have been grapes (490,726 tons), cherries (352,783 tons), apples (238,087 tons), plums (118,758 tons), blueberries (117,844 tons), pears (76,116 tons), nectarines (72,129), avocados (70,993 tons), mandarins (63,062 tons) and peaches (27,038 tons).
The United States continues to consume the largest amount of certain Chilean fruit items, such as blueberries and mandarins, accounting for 72.3% and 91% of total exports, respectively. For other fruits, such as cherries, a larger percentage is sent to Asia, with China representing the largest Asian market. Consumers across China can look forward to enjoying more fresh fruit exports from Chile in the near future.
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