As China’s economy begins to recover, Chilean fruit exporters breathe a sigh of relief. At a virtual conference organised by Fedefruta on Wednesday, Chile’s ambassador to China, Luis Schmidt, said that Chilean fruit exports had increased in recent months, as China gets back onto its feet after the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, Chile has been intensifying its efforts to comply with China’s demanding phytosanitary regulations.
Schmidt expects 2020/21 to be a good cherry season for Chilean exports. Cherry exports between January and August 2020 were up 6% to 145,000 tons (US$954 million, -7%) compared to the same period in 2019. China received 94% of the total. As its main trade partner, exports to China are becoming ever more crucial to Chile’s economy. This year, China has received 37% of Chile’s total export volume.
According to the latest data, Chilean fresh fruit exports dropped 7% to 2.13 million tons between January and August this year and were worth US$3.757 billion (-12% from the same period last year). Grape exports were down 7% to 600,600 tons (US$968 million, -21%). The US (45%) is the biggest market for Chile’s grapes, followed by China (18%).