The first shipments of Chilean cherries are on their way to Asia, North America and Latin America, though rains have delayed the start of the harvest and affected forecast export volumes.
The industry had forecast a 10-15 per cent increase on cherry exports compared to the 2014/15 season, though a wet spring has brought the forecast down to a similar volume to last season, according to the Chilean Fruit Exporters Associating (Asoex).
"We're having a wet spring, with at least three important rains and the forecast from the meteorological office of Chile has indicated that this situation of rains may continue until mid-December as a result of El Niño. This has meant greater costs in phytosanitary applications in comparison to last year at this same date, as well as less fruit and a delayed harvest," said Ronald Bown, Asoex chairman.
Chile exporter 103,079 tonnes of fresh cherries in 2014/15, which was an increase of 50.38 per cent compared to the previous season, according to Asoex. The majority of shipments were sent to Asia (85,013 tonnes), follwed by the US and Canada (8,994 tonnes), Latin American (4,981 tonnes) and the Middle East (110 tonnes).