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Chile’s Fresh Cherry Exports to China Hit Record High

January 24, 2024

According to the latest data from Frutas de Chile, formerly known as the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, as of week 4 of 2024, Chile had sent a record-breaking 365,968 metric tons of fresh cherries to the Chinese market in the 2023/24 season. Concurrently, a total of 398,762 metric tons of fresh cherries had been shipped from Chile to various parts of the world, marking a 3.8% decrease over the same period of last season. China has thus maintained its position as the largest consumer of Chilean cherries, representing an impressive 92% share of total exports.

Amid the thriving sales of Chilean cherries, a delegation from Frutas de Chile once again made its way to China, visiting cities such as Qingdao, Tianjin and Changsha and extending support to local distributors and retailers.

As the Spring Festival draws near, Chilean cherries, a highly sought after product among Chinese consumers, have secured prominent positions on supermarket shelves. This year, the packaging options for Chilean cherries have become even more diverse, including small packages weighing 250 grams and 500 grams as well as gift boxes ranging from 2.5 kilograms to 5 kilograms. This diversification enables Chinese consumers to not only select cherries of varying sizes and specifications but also enjoy a multitude of creative packaging designs.

The launch ceremony for Chilean cherries jointly held by Frutas de Chile and Jiajiayue Group.

This season, Frutas de Chile is placing even greater emphasis on penetrating lower-tier cities, with Wuhan, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Qingdao among the strategic centers being targeted for expansion into surrounding regions. As the first stop of their city tour activities, the members of the delegation visited Qingdao, where they held a launch ceremony in collaboration with Jiajiayue Group, a retail giant boasting a comprehensive whole supply chain system and serving as a crucial partner for Frutas de Chile. The event involved vibrant interactions between guests and nearly 100 consumers, who actively participated in promotional activities for a chance to win prizes of fresh Chilean cherries.

At the event, Iván Marambio, president of Frutas de Chile, discussed the association’s strategy in China, particularly in the northern region. He emphasized efforts to strengthen supply chain cooperation, advance trade dialogues and exchanges between the two countries, and enhance Chile’s domestic logistics infrastructure to bring more Chilean cherries to the tables of northern Chinese households.

After bidding farewell to Qingdao, the delegation promptly moved on to Tianjin, the second stop of the tour, to welcome the inaugural arrival of the “Cherry Express” at the Port of Tianjin. This port holds significance as a vital trade gateway for the northern Chinese market and serves as a crucial partner in a three-year strategic cooperation with Frutas de Chile.

The launch ceremony for the first “Cherry Express” service catering to the northern Chinese market.

On the night of Jan. 16, the vessel arrived at the Port of Tianjin, marking the official launch of the first “Cherry Express” service catering to the northern Chinese market. Through an impressive unloading operation, over 2,500 metric tons of fresh cherries were successfully handled within only three hours. Next, the cherries were transported to wholesale markets in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region through an efficient cold chain transportation system. The Tianjin Municipal Committee’s publicity department broadcast the entire process on the Douyin platform, with millions of viewers witnessing the exciting moment when the cherries arrived at the port. It is reported that another two vessels are scheduled to dock at the port in the coming week, bringing a total of 8,300 metric tons of cherries and other types of fruit to consumers in the region.

Iván Marambio and Claudia Soler appearing in a live broadcast promoting Chilean cherries.

On Jan. 18, the delegation arrived in Changsha, a key city in Central China. Marambio, accompanied by Claudia Soler, executive director of the Chilean Cherry Committee of Frutas de Chile, featured as special guests in a live broadcast dedicated to promoting Chilean cherries. Subsequently, they took on the role of couriers, personally delivering fresh cherries directly to the homes of fortunate fans.

Iván Marambio and Claudia Soler acting as couriers to deliver fresh cherries.

In addition to interacting with local retailers and consumers during the city tour, the delegation also conducted inspections at various wholesale markets. Through market visits and in-depth discussions with fruit dealers, the delegation members acquired valuable insights into the market dynamics and consumer demands.

The delegation also visited key fruit trade centers in Qingdao, Baoding, Changsha and Guangzhou. With multiple Chilean cherry vessels en route to China, the fruit is anticipated to experience a further surge in popularity in the leadup to Chinese New Year. The continued success of Chilean cherries on the Chinese market is intricately linked to the deepening economic and trade relations between China and the countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. Since 2017, owing to an upgraded trade agreement between China and Chile, Chilean cherries have been granted entry into China with zero tariffs. Over the past seven years, the annual average growth rate of Chilean cherry exports to China has reached approximately 29%.

Claudia Soler participating in a television interview.

During the city tour, the delegation participated in interviews hosted by several television stations. When discussing the relationship between Chilean cherries and China’s domestically produced cherries, Soler expressed her willingness to foster cooperation between the two sides. According to her, Chile and northern China’s cherry-producing regions share many similarities in terms of latitude and climate, providing excellent natural conditions for cherry cultivation. In recent years, the Chinese cherry industry has undergone rapid development, while the Chilean cherry industry has always placed great importance on exchanges with its Chinese counterpart. This season, Frutas de Chile has organized several seminars in China, creating a platform for the exchange of experiences with local stakeholders. Soler believes that such collaboration is pivotal for driving the sustainable growth of the cherry sector and offering increased opportunities for the entire industry chain in China.

The city tour campaign for this season is still ongoing and the delegation plans to visit more cities, where the members will collaborate with their Chinese partners to bring fresh Chilean cherries to households across the country.

Images: Frutas de Chile

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.


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