China Bought Over 90% of Chile’s Cherry Exports in January as Trade Ties Deepen
Qian Xiaoyan
DATE:  Feb 27 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China Bought Over 90% of Chile’s Cherry Exports in January as Trade Ties Deepen China Bought Over 90% of Chile’s Cherry Exports in January as Trade Ties Deepen

(Yicai) Feb. 27 -- China hoovered up 93 percent of Chile’s exported cherries in January as the two countries draw closer on trade, according to the latest data.

China purchased USD1.4 billion worth of Chilean cherries last month, a jump of 30.8 percent from the same time last year, according to a report by Chilean export organization Prochile. Last year, more than 90 percent of China’s cherry imports also came from Chile, according to data from China Customs.

China is Chile’s largest trading partner, largest export destination and largest source of imports. Over 97 percent of products traded by both countries, including cherries, are tax-free thanks to a China-Chile free trade agreement reached in 2017.

And it would seem that China’s appetite for the sweet, delicate fruit is insatiable. Over the past seven years, Chilean cherry exports to China have grown at an average annual rate of 29 percent.

The huge growth potential of the Chinese market is boosting confidence in the Chilean cherry industry, said Iván Marambio, president of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association.

Great strides have been taken to slash transportation times. Most cherries are transported to China from Chile by ship in cold storage containers, which takes around 32 days. But some are transported by air, taking as little as two days, but air freight is much more expensive.

COSCO Shipping has opened a “Cherry Express” route from the port of San Antonio to Shanghai, shortening the voyage to 23 days, and nearly doubling the supply of cherries by sea.

In terms of air freight, cherries used to be transported by a mixed passenger and cargo model, which took at least 100 hours from start to finish. Now, the time has been shortened to 30 hours by using dedicated cargo ships.

Chilean nectarine, peaches, apricots, plums and other stone fruits were added to the list of fresh fruits allowed into China in December last year. And Chile is also importing Chinese fruits such as apples, pears and lychees.

In December last year, the first batch of Chilean fresh coho salmon, weighing 2.3 tons, was certified by the Chilean Ministry of Economy and sent on its way to China.

Editor: Kim Taylor

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Keywords:   Chery Exports