Chilean fresh fruit season advances in North America


The sale of Chilean fruits has been very solid, during the pandemic according to the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) of North America, with monthly retail sales increasing each month compared to the same period last year.

The berries category has been particularly strong. In fact, IRI data showed the category had an absolute dollar profit of $ 58 million, equivalent to a growth of 13,6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Chile began exporting blueberries to North America in mid-August, but until mid-November there were only small and highly concentrated organic volumes from the northern region. The first week that Chile shipped more than 1.000 tons to North America was November 16-22.

"We are now entering the peak weeks for blueberry shipments from Chile, so weekly volumes will increase, generating significant promotable volumes of Chilean blueberries in January and February," Karen Brux said. CFFA Marketing Director.

The Chilean Blueberry Committee of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (ASOEX), projects 111.500 tons of total exports of fresh blueberries, which would represent 2% more than last season.

"Although we do not expect a big change in volume, we are seeing a significant change in the participation of varieties," said Brux, adding that "the older varieties are decreasing and the newer varieties with better attributes (better production, flavor, and useful life) are increasing ”.

The total volume shipped (globally) through December 13 was 26.127 tonnes and about half of all volume shipped was destined for North America. Still, the amount of exports to the US fell by around 11% compared to last season.

"The big change from Chile to the United States is organic blueberries with a growth of 22% and 10% in the two previous seasons," said Brux.

He added: "With respect to organic blueberries, 4.188 tonnes (91 percent of total organic blueberry exports through December 13) have been shipped to North America."

Likewise, Brux highlighted that at the beginning of October, the regulation of the Systems Approach was finally published in the Federal Register, which was great news for blueberry producers in the Ñuble and Biobio regions, who can now export to the United States. , through monitors and inspection.

“Based on the producers who have already registered to apply for the Systems Approach this season, a volume of 9.500 tons is estimated in Ñuble and another 7.100 tons in Biobio. In total, the volume will reach 16.600 tons, which represents 15% of the estimated total for this season. Most of this volume is estimated to be organic. This is great news for the US market, where the demand for organic blueberries continues to increase, "said the CFFA professional.



The latest estimate of ASOEX's Chilean Cherry Committee, derived from 68 companies representing 77,4% of last season's volume, specifies that 316.184 tons of fresh Chilean cherries are expected to be exported to the world, which represents growth 38,3% compared to last season, pointing to a new export record.

“China continues to be the main destination for Chilean cherries, but marketing programs are also being implemented in the United States, South Korea and Brazil,” Brux continued, pointing out that “this season, programs will be implemented in India, Vietnam and Thailand. for the first time".

Table grapes

The first harvests of Chilean table grapes in the Atacama region began in week 49, one week less than last season, producing mainly white seedless grapes (Sugraone, Prime Seedless and Timson), as well as a lower volume of Flame Seedless .

“Exports of table grapes have just started, with only 475 tons shipped globally through Week 50,” Brux pointed out.

“Of this amount, 219 tons went to North America, which is Chile's largest export market for fresh grapes. Exports to this market will continue to increase and the CFFA will carry out promotions from February to April ”.

Last season, Chile exported a total of 600,960 tons and about half was shipped to North America. Although it is too early for projections, the number is expected to increase in 2021.

The CFFA Director highlighted growth in shipments of new varieties. “Importers can expect to see higher volumes of new varieties, such as Timco, Sweet Celebration, Allison, among others, and lower volumes of varieties such as Flame Seedless. Chile is committed to meeting the needs of its export markets. Hence the rapid change towards the newer varieties demanded by the North American market ”.



The Chilean stone promotions will begin in February and will run until April.

Until mid-December, Chile has shipped 370 tons of plums worldwide, of which 201 tons were destined for North America. The first harvests were focused on the Early Queen and Big Fusion varieties.

Regarding nectarines, during this same period, 2.992 tons were shipped, 1.084 of which were destined for North America. The early harvest has focused on the Zee Fire, Rio Red and Early Juan varieties

As for peaches, 2.550 tons have been shipped worldwide so far, with 64% going to North America. The main varieties harvested to date have been Early Majestic and Super Rich

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