Supply Chain Council of European Union |

Chinese consumers enthusiastically welcome fresh Chilean cherries

Chile is the largest fruit exporter of the southern hemisphere. The country has huge potential for export to the Chinese market, because the growing seasons in both countries are opposite. The harvest seasons in Chile take place when winter arrives in the northern hemisphere. The Chinese market never has sufficient supply of seasonal fruits during the winter, and Chile is therefore in an excellent position to supply the Chinese market.

The Chilean cherry harvest begins every year in November and continues until January or February in the subsequent year. That is right around the time of Chinese Spring Festival [12 February, 2021]. And Chinese consumers love Chilean cherries.

Chilean cherries

The Chilean cherry export season already officially opened. The first cherries arrived in China and market feedback is great. Importers are eager to buy and their enthusiasm drives the price higher. The price is relatively high at the beginning of the season, just like last year. That is because the supply volume of top-quality fruit is still limited, but also because the Chilean cherries are air-freighted, rather than shipped via sea freight. The cost price of air-freight is much higher, and this has an impact on the market price of Chilean cherries this early in the season.

Chilean cherries

“Chilean cherry farmers are enthusiastic about the Chinese market. The current price is more than reasonable. The price level is more or less the same as last year. However, the price of air freight is too high, so we will soon switch to sea freight. We start sending the first shipping containers in week 48, and they will arrive in China in week 50 [18 December, 2020]. The first cherry to arrive on the Chinese market is the Santina, and this variety is quickly followed by Lapin, Bing, and Regina cherries.” This is according to Mr. Chen Zhiwei of Guangzhou Jiaguoyuan Import and Export Trading Co., Ltd.

Chilean cherries

Chilean cherry orchards have not suffered from natural disasters this year and the overall production volume has expanded. The first Chilean cherries on the Chinese market this year are doing quite well. But that is not an indication for the market conditions later in the sales season. The market prospect is difficult to predict, especially this year.

According to Mr. Chen Zhiwei: “Although the outbreak of Covid-19 is under control in China, the rest of the world still suffers from this pandemic, which has a huge impact on the world economy and on the Chinese economy too. Furthermore, China has temporarily halted the import of some fruits to reduce the risk of further spreading Covid-19. This naturally has an impact on the fruit industry. In addition, the Chilean cherry harvest relies on migrant workers whose mobility is now limited to stop the spread of Covid-19, which results in a shortage of workers. This is one of the biggest challenges for the Chilean cherry industry this year.”

Chilean cherries

Jiaguoyuan Import and Export sells Chilean cherries in wholesale markets, e-commerce platforms, and specialized fruit stores, but most of them are sold in wholesale markets. The company has many Chilean partners including El Alamo. The cherries supplied by El Alamo will arrive in China in January. The two companies have worked together for several years. They also supply the Chinese market with Chilean blueberries and apples, in addition to Chilean cherries.

For more information:

Mr. Chen Zhiwei

Guangzhou Jiaguoyuan Import and Export Trading Co., Ltd.

Tel.: +86 137 2557 8725 

E-mail: [email protected] 

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