Chile’s Chilean Fruit Exporters Association(ASOEX) held a ceremony on September 30 to launch the 2022/23 Chilean cherry season. The celebration was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Chile Niu Qingbao.
Government officials expressed optimism about the potential for Chilean cherry sales to China this season. Chile’s Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, predicted in an interview that the value of Chilean cherry exports to China could top $3 billion.
The first batch of Chilean cherries arrived in Shanghai in late October, marking the start of the 2022/23 cherry season in China.
Varieties in the first batches are early-season cultivars Glenred, Royal Dawn, Brooks, and Santina. Next will come to mid-season Bing, Lapins, Skeena, and Kordia. Sweetheart and Regina will follow them.
Santina, Lapins, and Regina are expected to be the main cherry-exporting regions this season.
Besides air charter shipments, ocean shipments are also expected to begin leaving Chile in mid-November.
It is estimated that 28 ships will transport Chilean cherries to China this season, according to Produce Report. Seaspan Brightness, the vessel carrying the first ocean shipment, will depart Chile on Nov. 16 and be docked in Hong Kong on Dec. 9. Shenzhen will receive the shipment two days later.
The Chinese New Year period is about a month away, which means that ocean shipments will arrive every two to three days during that period.
Approximately 477,000 metric tons of fresh cherries are forecast to be exported from Chile for the 2022/23 season, according to the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX). Compared with the previous season, this would mean a 25% increase in Chilean cherry exports.