A reduced, high quality crop helped Chilean cherry producers achieve record returns for the 2015/16 season according to producer organisation Fedefruta.
The organisation’s comparative analysis tool shows that the average return paid to producers never dropped below US$5 per kg during the entire season.
A total of 95,000 tonnes were exported in 2015/16, slightly down on the record 103,000-tonne total shipped in 2014/15. Producers were forced to cut initial forecasts following an unusually wet spring and this had a positive impact on prices.
The data showed that once again producers in the earliest areas obtained the highest prices, with shipments in week 45 of 2015 – the first of the season – achieving an average return of US$6.45 per kg. This is an increase of US$1.55 over the same period of the previous season.
At week 48 returns were still above 2014/15 levels, and from week 49 they were surpassed only by levels during the same period of the 2013/14 campaign when frosts decimated production and sent prices spiralling.
“Prices obtained by producers this season were significantly better than those paid by exporters in 2015. Together with a more favourable exchange rate this benefited average returns of producers in all regions,” said Fedefruta president Ramón Achurra Larrain.
Fedefruta pointed out that despite the strong performance overall, the difference between the best and worst price paid by exporters was US$1 per kg.
The federation is urging producers to use this price comparison tool to help them make more profitable commercial decisions in the coming season.
Together, China and Hong Kong absorb more than three-quarters of Chile’s cherry export volume, while the US, Latin America and Europe account for the remainder.
Sales in China were supported by a wide reaching online promotional campaign following a landmark agreement with Alibaba. The campaign was launched on 11 November – China’s Singles’ Day Festival, symbolised by the four number ones in the date – on which the e-commerce giant carried out a massive online sales promotion netted sales of US$9.3bn in 2014/15.
The deal reinforced Chile’s online consumer marketing strategy which also encompasses JD.com and various social media networks and runs in tandem with in-store promotions in tier-1 and tier-2 cities to build brand awareness and encourage brand loyalty.