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China Accounts for 82% of Chilean Cherry Exports for 2016-2017

March 30, 2017
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With an increase of close to 14% Chilean Cherry exports season ends for 2016-2017

  • Chilean industry conducts a positive analysis of the exports and promotion campaign carried out during this year, especially in the Chinese market
  • China consolidates itself as the main market, and South Korea grows in imports of this Chilean fruit

According to information provided by the President of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), Ronald Bown Fernández, the cherry export season 2016-2017 culminated with a total of 94,869 tons (18,973,800 cases), representing a 13.3% increase in shipments, compared to the previous season.

Bown said that although the increase is positive, it is still below the potential of the country's export supply that is around 120,000 tons, mainly due to adverse weather conditions in October and November 2016.

Regarding destination markets, the President of ASOEX said: "Asia remains the main market with 86.7% of total exports, with China accounting for 82%. South Korea, a market that opened in January 2016, had a significant first volume this season, reaching 1,341 tons. "

He added that the second market was constituted by North America (USA and Canada), with 6.7% of the total cherries exported, practically equal percentage that the last season. For its part, Europe received 2.7% of exports with a drop of 0.5% from last year's volume. Another important market was Brazil, which imported 2,248 tons, achieving a 23.1% increase in volume compared to last season.

"These results show that the production of cherries in the approximately 30,000 hectares planted, were reduced, mainly for climatic reasons, which fluctuated between 5 and 7 million boxes," said the representative of ASOEX.

Great promotion and better logistics

This season the Chilean cherry industry has promoted three major promotional campaigns in the US, Brazil and R.P.China, the latter classified as unique in its type, both because of the impact on the market and the investment associated with it.

In this context, Cristián Tagle, President of the ASOEX Cherry Committee, said that the company concentrated this year its promotion programs in Asia, with an investment of USD $ 5 million, thanks to work and joint contributions between the private sector and ProChile.

Parallel to this campaign, the Committee managed to facilitate the opening up of a shipping line with fast ships to China, which allowed arrivals 7 days before normal transits, which helped to arrive with fruit of better quality, thus benefiting all exporters and producers.

The interest of the Chinese market and the potential of Chile

Such is the interest of the Chinese market for Chilean fruits, and especially cherries, whose demand has grown significantly in recent years that we have seen the installation of Chinese purchasing companies in Chile, in addition to increasing sales via online through two of the main platforms in China.

On the other hand, large retail chains have started buying cherries in Chile and other suppliers (USA, Australia, New Zealand) directly. This tendency, as in other continents, expands year by year, simplifying the value chain.

The President of the ASOEX Cherry Committee, Cristián Tagle, said: "Chile's cherry production potential will reach 150,000 tons in the coming years. This means that logistics in China will have to improve, especially in terms of refrigerated storage in the distribution chain. Notwithstanding the above, the most important thing perhaps, will be to increase the demand for cherries in China, targeting mainly the middle segment consumer who does not yet consume cherries in a habitual way.

"The promotion of cherries in China, which ended 30 days ago, has been a key tool to reach the final consumer," said Ronald Bown. Therefore, we focus our focus on this market, which is also the most important for our cherries and where we can still grow in consumption. "

According to Charif Christian Carvajal Marketing Director of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) “This season was the most important promotion campaign we have ever implemented in China – we promoted chilean cherries in in 36 cities, reaching a potential population in these cities of 190 million people. Additionally it was possible to increase the consumption by incorporating new consumers of cherries and to promote cherries amongst the frequent consumers. In this way, the cherry campaign was very complete, simultaneously seeking to display our brand "Cherries from Chile", and delivering our message in the main channels of potential consumers. "

The promotional campaign included activations in retail chains, advertising in Metro stations, LED posters in regional cities, as well as advertising in residential lifts, ads on high-rated programs on" Online "TV channels, as well as banners on the main online portals as well as on social media.

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