China is in love with Chilean cherries: it imports thousands of tons every year
The Chilean cherry export season, which runs from November to February, could be a commercial record this year. This is possible thanks to a large logistics operation and the "cherry express" service ships, which transport the fruit to its Asian destination.
With the arrival of Chinese New Year on January 22, there is a great demand for the chilean cherries that arrive in the Asian country in containers from the South American country.
En China Cherries symbolize prosperity and fortune, which is why this red fruit is highly prized in the Asian giant, as an omen of a good year, explains the Chilean portal SimFRUIT of the Association of Chilean Fruit Exporters (ASOEX).
Season export of Chilean cherries began in mid-November with the special service cherry express for transporting fruits. It is a vast logistics operation so that the highly appreciated product in the Chinese market arrives on time and in a proper way aboard specially equipped ships and with fast and direct routes to the Asian continent.
With 11 weekly frequencies, the vessels depart from the South Pacific Terminal (TPS) of the port of Valparaíso loaded with containers heading to the Chinese port of Hong Kong, on a 22-day journey.
"Cherries have positioned themselves as one of the premium Chilean fruit export products, so we feel a great responsibility in being part of the logistics chain," said Raúl Guzmán, commercial assistant manager of TPS at the beginning of the export period.
In the first days of January 2023, a record was revealed when the landing of more than 1.220 containers with Chilean cherries was registered in a single landfall in the port of Hong Kong.
“It looks like it will be another amazing season for Chilean cherries in China. We congratulate the exporters from Chile and the importers from China on the positive results and we thank all of them for their confidence in Hong Kong as the coolest gateway to China and the rest of Asia," said Horace Lo, CEO of Modern Terminals, which operates in the aforementioned port.
Record cherry exports?
Garces Fruit is one of the largest producers and exporters of Chilean cherries that have benefited from the demand for these fruits. The firm's representative in Shanghai, Hernán Garcés Gazmuri, told the Fresh Plaza portal that at the end of December between 200 and 300 containers arrived in the Asian country a day. "Now that we are approaching the Chinese New Year, we see that different markets in China are absorbing up to 500-600 containers per day."
ASOEX estimates that more than 80 million boxes, that is, more than 400.000 metric tons, of fresh cherries to the whole world, during this season. Although they are far from the 89 million boxes projected in October, it would set a new record for Chilean cherry exports, whose main destination is China.
The fresh fruit quality control company Decofrut is even more optimistic and estimates that a record 447.000 metric tons of Chilean cherries will be shipped worldwide during the 2022-2023 season, 25% more than last season.
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