Stonefruit leads Chile’s export charge in Asia
The surge in Chilean cherry production has fuelled a sharp rise in fruit exports to Asia this season according to the latest figures from Asoex.
Cherry shipments to 16 February were up 93 per cent on last season at 166,692 tonnes, while total fruit exports to Asia rose 38 per cent to 241,511 tonnes.
The volume of nectarines shipped to Asia has also risen sharply following the opening of the Chinese market last year, climbing 37.9 per cent to 14,529 tonnes.
“We knew that the opening of the Chinese market for Chilean nectarines was key and the figures bear this out, showing that at this point last season shipments stood at 819 tonnes while today more than 12,000 tonnes have been sent to this market,” said Asoex president Ronald Bown.
Currently, 86.1 per cent of nectarine exports to Asia have been destined for the Chinese market, the main varieties shipped being the white fleshed Bright Pearl and Magique and the yellow fleshed Venus.
Bown said the focus now was on gaining access to the Chinese market for Chilean pears.
Overall, Chilean fruit exports to mid-February stood at 854,671 tonnes, a 5.35 per cent fall on the same period of last year but this was due to the unusually early start to production in 2016/17. When compared to the two previous campaigns, export volumes for the current season are running around 10 per cent higher.