Argentina’s cherry producers will begin exporting to China this campaign, with market access due to be formally agreed over the next few weeks. With the current season just getting underway, production is estimated to be up 3.7% to 14,000 tons. Exports should total 5,000 tons, similar to last year. Around 30% is sold on the national market, 50% exported and 20% used for processing.
Argentina’s cherry industry comprises 3,000 hectares planted, in Mendoza, Alto Valle del Río Negro and Neuquén. The main markets are North America, Europe and the UK, with work in progress to expand in Asia. For the past two years, the industry has been working to open the Chinese market, and inspectors arrived this week. One of the greatest challenges is posed by the strength of neighbouring Chile. But the steady increase in demand is steering Argentina’s farmers towards the crop and its great export potential. Production has increased by 20-25% annually in recent years thanks to new orchards and the conversion of varieties.