Chile Cherries

With two weeks to go until its first Chilean cherry shipment, Vanguard International has provided an update on the upcoming season, predicting increased volumes.

The company reported that good weather through September has cherry size condition, and quality all looking good. It predicted production to be up by at least 10 per cent on last season, which would equal a volume close to 80m cartons.

“The first variety available to customers will be Royal Dawn,” the company said. “Our first air shipment routed to China will be shipped in week 45 and the first ocean containers will be shipped on the Cherry Express service that will depart probably starting week 46 or 47.”

The supply chain and labour challenges that have been amplified by Covid-19 remain. The report said growers are balancing labour to compensate for the higher costs compared with last season, but most have been able to carry out each labour period on time so far.

“The primary concern is the lack of clarity around the 'Cherry Express' ocean transportation services this season,” said the update.

“It is being reported there is 20 per cent less availability of containers leading to a greater demand. In addition, shipping companies have not yet shared their freight rates for this season which makes budgeting and planning uniquely challenging. The same availability concerns are shared for air shipments for this coming season.”