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Season's First Shipment of Chilean Cherries Lands in Shanghai

November 01, 2022

The 2022/23 Chilean cherry season in China kicked off on the morning of Oct. 30 when the season’s first shipment of cherries landed at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

By the late afternoon of Oct. 31, three pallets of cherries from this shipment reached Shanghai’s Huizhan fruit wholesale market, while a few cartons of cherries were also sent to Jiaxing Haiguangxing Premium Fruit wholesale market in the neighboring province of Zhejiang later the same day.

Even before the flight touched down, the Huizhan market was already full of eager fruit dealers. For a first-hand account of the shipment, Produce Report interviewed Joy Wing Mau, one of China’s leading fruit companies. According to a representative of Joy Wing Mau, the first shipment included six pallets, or over 700 cartons, of fresh cherries. Royal Dawn, Brooks and Glenred were the main varieties and size specifications ranged from J to 3J. Royal Dawn is an early-season cultivar known for its high quality.

As a large company serving a broad network of retailers, Joy Wing Mau immediately distributed the cherries to various channels including brick and mortar stores such as Hema Fresh, Olé and RT-Mart, e-commerce platforms such as Meituan, and a number of traditional fruit wholesale markets. Cherries sent to the supermarkets were quickly packaged and put on shelves on the night of Oct. 30, waiting to meet consumers the next day.

With the arrival of the first air shipment, the sea shipping schedule for this export season has also become available. In 2023, Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 22, around ten days earlier than in 2022. Since the leadup to Chinese New Year is the peak sales period for cherries in China, the early festival translates to a tighter shipping schedule and huge pressure put on exporters who have to deliver as many cherries as possible relatively early in the season.

Based on information collected by Produce Report, a total of 28 ships will transport Chilean cherries to China this season. The first ocean shipment, on the vessel Seaspan Brightness, will depart from Chile on Nov. 16 and is expected to berth in Hong Kong on Dec. 9 and reach Shenzhen two days later. The second shipment will leave Chile on Nov. 23 aboard HMM Blessing and call at Hong Kong and Shenzhen on Dec. 16 and Dec. 18, respectively. Ocean shipment arrivals are then expected every two or three days for approximately the next month in the leadup to the Chinese New Year.

According to the official projection made by the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), Chile will export a record 89,353,878 standardized 5 kg cartons of fresh cherries this season, equivalent to 446,769 metric tons—a 25% increase in volume over the previous season.

Images: Joy Wing Mau

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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