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Chile Eyes Expansion of Cherry Exports to China

“We expect approximately 85 percent or more of this season’s Chilean cherry exports will arrive in China,” said Ivan Marambio, president of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association on Friday. The future export volume of Chilean cherries to China is likely to double over the next four seasons, he told the Global Times.

Marambio made the remarks on the sidelines of the 16th China-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Business Summit, which is held annually by China and Latin American countries in rotation. The 2023 summit is being held from Thursday to Friday in Beijing.

“We have confidence in the future demand for Chilean fruits in China. For example, in the case of Chilean cherries, our exports are expected to double in volume over the next four seasons, reason for which we are committed to promoting our cherries in the market place and in particular regional cities,” he told the Global Times.

According to the official, Chile is improving its internal transportation and logistical system, and Chinese companies have contributed to this development, specifically in the future construction of suburban trains which will benefit more than 1 million Chileans each year.

“We welcome new ways of bringing our fruit to port and which will complement our existing and robust road transportation system. The major developments we have seen in terms of logistics are the improved transit times and the diversification of ports of destination in China,” he said.

“Over the last few seasons, we have seen a stabilization of prices which gives greater confidence to both the traders and Chinese consumers when shopping for Chilean Cherries. Secondly, compared to other Southern Hemisphere countries, Chile is able to provide a much longer supply window for cherries across an array of sizes, packaging and varieties of cherries. This results in a different mix of produce prices that is available to the Chinese consumers based on their diversified preference and consumption occasions,” Marambio said.

Chile was the first South American country to establish diplomatic relations with China, and also the first Latin American country to sign a free trade agreement with China and complete the upgrading of the agreement.

At present, China is the largest trading partner as well as export destination and source of imports for Chile, and Chile is China’s third-largest trading partner in Latin America.

Marambio told the Global Times that one of the key factors for the success of trade relations between Chile and China, particularly in the fresh fruit sector, has been based on a relationship of mutual trust and mutual benefit. Not only has the Chilean fruit export sector benefited, but so too have Chinese importers, distributors, and consumers who receive quality and consistent fruit during the Chinese winter months.

Additionally, Chile has also been active in terms of opening up the Chilean local market to receive Chinese produce. “In the past, we have facilitated significant imports of Chinese apples, pears, and lychees,” he said.

Marambio has already visited China four times this year, traveling to Wuhan and Dalian in addition to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. He also plans to visit Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu and Jiaxing in January next year.

Marambio has repeatedly expressed his confidence in the Chinese market in earlier interviews. “We will not only export our fruit to China’s first-tier cities, but we are also committed to selling fruit in more of China’s provincial capitals,” he said, noting that after visiting different regions of China and communicating with enterprises, he has become more confident in expanding the share of Chilean fruit in the Chinese market.

Source: Global Times