Agronometrics in Charts: Chilean Stone Fruit Season Concludes with A 19% Increase in FOB Export Value

By Agronometrics | 10 July 2023

In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Sarah Ilyas studies the state of the Chilean stone fruit industry. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

According to the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (Asoex), the 2022-2023 season witnessed an 11% decline in export volume for Chilean stone fruit. However, this decrease was juxtaposed with a noteworthy 19% increase in the Free on Board (FOB) value compared to the previous season, resulting in exports reaching a substantial value of $409 million.

“This is the highest result obtained by our stone fruit in recent times, exceeding by 14% what was recorded in the 2020-2021 season, which was the largest so far,” stated the president of ASOEX, Ivan Marambio.

“There was a downward trend in volume due to the decrease in planted hectares. In addition, there were curdling problems this season because of weather issues that affected this species, such as frost and rains that affected the total exportable volume,” he added.

Stone Fruit Volumes by Commodity in the US I From Chile

chart 8

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Despite a 5% contraction in nectarine exports, decreasing from 85,000 to 81,000 tons, this season marked the second-largest volume of nectarine exports thus far. The decrease was primarily attributed to the lingering impact of the previous season, wherein the sector faced logistical challenges, leading to unfavorable outcomes. Consequently, a greater proportion of nectarines remained within the local market during the current season.

nectarine volumes by his

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The export trend for peaches experienced a decline, amounting to nearly 23,000 tons, which is 15% lower than the 27,000 tons exported in the previous season.

peach volumes by history 1

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The season fared reasonably well compared to the previous one, logistics wise. “We used a combination of charter vessels and container shipments,” says Cristian Ramila, an industry source. “The charter vessels (bulk) sail directly from Chile to both coasts of the US, which only takes 14 days.” For container shipments, the backlog at the Port of Long Beach was successfully resolved, allowing for seamless operations. Liner vessels were employed consistently throughout the entirety of the Chilean stone fruit season. The duration of this journey is approximately 20-25 days.

According to the USDA, a focal point for Chilean cherry exporters is processing fruit quickly and efficiently. The objective is to mitigate the risk of damage, preserve fruit firmness, and ensure the delivery of cherries in optimal condition to export markets. Furthermore, exporters strive to consistently offer cherries of exceptional quality, aiming to sustain elevated price levels for Chilean cherry exports. This endeavor presents a growing challenge for the Chilean cherry industry, considering the substantial year-on-year escalation in production and exports.

The cultivation of nectarines continues to prove lucrative for producers and exporters alike. Additionally, it allows producers that are specialized in stone fruit to diversify their portfolio, thus reducing risk, and taking full advantage of their available resources by extending their harvest season. Nectarines have garnered increasing popularity within the Chilean market, surpassing fresh peaches. This shift can be attributed to the diligent efforts of producers in developing novel varieties that offer superior flavor profiles and an extended post-harvest lifespan. Consequently, nectarines have successfully solidified their market appeal.

According to Asoex marketing director Ignacio Caballero, the US market saw mixed results this season, with sales slowing after a strong start to the season. “On the one hand, we had to compete with the beginning of the grape season, while the large stone fruit volumes that were concentrated and accumulated in the second part of the season also affected sales,” Caballero noted.

In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.

Written by: Sarah Ilyas

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