Chile has over 40,000 hectares of cherries, which leads to infrastructure development and employment opportunities. China is by far the main export market for Chilean cherries, receiving over 80% of total volumes. Exports are set to surpass 180,000 tons, making it the country’s most valuable export fruit.
During the 2017-2018 season, Chile sent 385,500 tons of fresh fruits to China, up 66% from the 2016-2017 campaign, according to Asoex data. Cherry exports accounted for 41.4% of total Chilean fruit shipments to China. It is estimated that Chile will need to produce twice the current volume of cherries to meet the growing market demand.
Chile’s cherry production areas have benefited from the sharp rise in exports of the fruit to China. This is the opinion of the president of the Cherry Committee of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (Asoex), Cristian Tagle, who said, “There is a better quality of life, better conditions of the population, in the areas where the fruit of the cherry is produced and the producers have perceived that there is an opportunity. They have continued with the plantations.”