Chilean Fruit Exports Grow 4% in Value Despite Volume Decline in Q1 2024

Chilean fruit exports saw a 1% volume decline but 4% value growth in Q1 2024, with cherries leading exports to China. Experts cite changing consumer preferences and logistics as factors behind grape and plum export declines.

Olalekan Adigun
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Chilean Fruit Exports Grow 4% in Value Despite Volume Decline in Q1 2024

Chilean Fruit Exports Grow 4% in Value Despite Volume Decline in Q1 2024

Chilean fruit exports experienced a 1% decline in volume but achieved a 4% growth in value, reaching US$3.721 billion in the first quarter of 2024. Cherries emerged as the leading fruit export, with 345,977 tonnes worth US$2.005 billion, primarily destined for the Chinese market. However, grape and plum exports saw a decline during the same period.

The strong performance of cherries in the export market can be attributed to the high demand and favorable prices in China. "Cherries have consistently been a top performer in our fruit export portfolio, and the Chinese market has shown a strong appetite for Chilean cherries," said a spokesperson from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association.

Despite the overall growth in value, the decline in export volumes for grapes and plums has raised concerns among industry participants. Experts suggest that factors such as changing consumer preferences, increased competition from other fruit-producing countries, and logistical challenges may have contributed to the lower export volumes for these fruits.

Why this matters: The performance of Chilean fruit exports has significant implications for the country's agricultural sector and overall economy. As a major global supplier of fresh fruits, Chile's export trends can influence international market dynamics and trade relationships.

To address the challenges faced by the fruit export industry, the Chilean government and industry associations are working together to diversify export markets, improve supply chain efficiency, and promote the quality and safety of Chilean fruits. Initiatives such as trade agreements, marketing campaigns, and investment in cold chain infrastructure are being implemented to enhance the competitiveness of Chilean fruit exports.

The opening of a new Emergent Cold Latin America warehouse in Talcahuano, Chile, is seen as a strategic move to strengthen the local cold chain infrastructure for the region's seafood and fruit production and exports. "This new facility will play a critical role in supporting the growth and efficiency of our fruit exports, ensuring that our products reach international markets in optimal condition," commented a representative from Emergent Cold Latin America.

As the Chilean fruit export industry navigates the challenges and opportunities in the global market, stakeholders remain optimistic about the future prospects. The appointment of Víctor Catán Dabike as the new president of the Chile Federation of Fruit Producers (Fedefruta) is expected to bring fresh perspectives and strategies to further develop the sector and promote the interests of Chilean fruit producers in the coming years.

Key Takeaways

  • Chilean fruit exports declined 1% in volume but grew 4% in value to $3.721B in Q1 2024.
  • Cherries were the top export, with 345,977 tonnes worth $2.005B, mainly to China.
  • Grape and plum exports declined, raising concerns among industry participants.
  • New cold chain facility in Talcahuano to support fruit exports' growth and efficiency.
  • Fedefruta's new president expected to bring fresh strategies to develop the fruit sector.