Value of shipments climbs 4 per cent in the first quarter of 2024

Chilean cherries

Chilean fruit exports registered a fall of 1 per cent in volume in the first quarter of 2024 but grew 4 per cent in value compared to the year-earlier period. The figures, released by the Office of Agrarian Studies and Policies (Odepa), show exports totalled 1.123m tonnes worth US$3.721bn between January and March of this year.

Fresh fruit accounted for 89 per cent of the shipment value. Cherries led the charge, with shipments of 345,977 tonnes worth US$2.005bn, an increase of 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively on last year. China was the main destination, taking 90.5 per cent of shipments, followed by the US (3.5 per cent), Taiwan (1 per cent), South Korea (0.9 per cent) and Brazil (0.7 per cent).

Grapes, the next biggest product, saw fresh exports contract by 15 per cent in volume to 247,731. In value, shipments of fresh and processed grapes fell 12 per cent to US$463m. The main markets were the US (71.8 per cent), China (5.6 per cent), Mexico (3.3 per cent), Japan (2.9 per cent) and Canada (2.3 per cent).

Fresh plums, in third place, registered a 9 per cent increase in exports to 128,415 tonnes, but their shipment value was down 6 per cent at US$240m.

This was followed by fresh blueberries, with exports totalling 75,382 tonnes worth US$402m, an increase of 4 per cent in volume and 27 per cent in value compared to the first quarter of 2023.

Overall, China was the main destination for fresh Chilean fruit, accounting for 42.5 per cent of shipments, 8.2 per cent more than in the same period last year. The US was second with 27.6 per cent (+0.3 per cent); the Netherlands with 3.3 per cent (+10 per cent); Mexico, with 3 per cent (-1.6 per cent); and Brazil with 2.1 per cent (+3.9 per cent).