Argentine cherry shipments regaining steam

From Fresh Fruit Portal | 15 January 2024

Overview of cherries from Argentina in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on January 15, 2024.

With barely a month left for the Chinese New Year celebration, Argentine cherry shipments are underway, as the fruit has become a frequent gift among Chinese people during the festivity.

Argentine Chamber of Integrated Cherry Producers (CAPCI) General Manager Aníbal Caminiti, tells that the Asian market makes up for roughly 30% of total exports during this time of year.

However, the executive points out that the chamber is focusing marketing efforts on later crops, as southernmost regions are still in production.

“77% of Argentina’s exports last season were made by plane, and the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz, which are still in harvest and production, will also be shipping by air,” he shares.

Caminiti says they expect to arrive in international markets during March, with some maritime shipments coming in “early April”.

Caminiti says that China is still a strong market for Argentine cherries, however, the U.S. has also proven to be “very interesting this year”.

cherry volumes by histor 1

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

“China usually takes over 30% of our exportable volumes and the U.S. takes another 30%. Until the first week of January, China had a record of higher shipments, but nothing out of the ordinary to date,” he says.

Caminiti explained that the sector’s strategies currently aim to “coexist” with the strong presence of Chilean cherries, not only in China but in all markets. 

“In any market, the Chilean presence sets the price, so our strategies to maintain competitiveness have to be seasonalized from the Chilean supply peak because we will never be able to compete by volume,” he indicates.

He explains that the cherry industry is working on the differentiation and quality of cherries. “We have developed branded products, such as the denomination of origin for cherries from the Valle de los Antiguos and that is going to start working already for next season.”

He also comments that CAPCI is working on a quality protocol for international markets, particularly for the Chinese market, to set a standard for Argentine cherries.

“We are having a good year, recovering volumes and exportable balances that we had lost due to climatic issues in recent seasons, so we are happy. We are having a very good season, and we still have to ship our later varieties, and so far everything is going well,” he says.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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