Posts Tagged “Chilean fruit imports.”

Chilean Fruit Season Launches with 1st Arrival at the Port of Los Angeles

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The first ship of 2024 with Chilean fruit arrived at the Port of Los Angeles th week of January 22nd, carrying more than 5,300 pallets of table grapes and stone fruit.

According to a press release issued by the port, it is the only one in the U.S. West Coast that receives specialized refrigerated cargo vessels carrying palletized fruit from Chile.

Departing from the Port of Coquimbo on January 3, the Ivar Reefer was operated by Cool Carriers, a company specialized in directly transporting fruit and other fresh produce. The modern refrigeration and ventilation systems, as well as the thermal insulation of its vessels, allow for optimal conditions and minimal risk of damage to the perishable cargo.

The vessel is the first of dozens that will arrive at the Port of Los Angeles, during the winter season, from January to early April.

“We have become the primary stop for Chilean fruit imports on the West Coast that are distributed as far north as Canada and as far east as Texas,” Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka noted in the release, adding that “being able to efficiently accommodate and process a variety of cargo for our customers – such as today’s fresh breakbulk shipment – remains an important priority for our Port.”

In 2021, the Port of Los Angeles invested nearly $1 million to upgrade its breakbulk building at Berths 54-55, a marine terminal operated by SSA Marine.

The building serves as the Port’s main staging area for pallets of Chilean products, which SSA Marine then quickly distributes using the Port’s extensive network of refrigerated truck services and cold storage facilities.

For more than 25 years, Chilean growers have relied on this specialized port terminal to deliver their fresh produce to North American consumer markets.

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Chilean “Summer” Fruit Imports Arriving at U.S. Ports

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Summer is arriving in the Southern Hemisphere and this means imports of Chilean fruit will be here soon. Average volume, or perhaps slightly below average is seen by observers.

The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association of Redwood City, CA reports over the next several months there will be arrivals of peaches, plums, nectarines, grapes, blueberries and cherries.

Blueberry imports begin in November and continue into mid-March; cherries will arrive in the U.S. from December to February; grapes will be available from December to April or early May; and stone fruit will be here from December to April.

Peaches and nectarines are available in the early part of stone fruit season, and plums during the latter part.

Importer Pacific Trellis of Los Angeles reports a good Chilean stone fruit is expected.

The company expects stone fruit volume to be similar to last year, while blueberry volume will be down. However, a 5% increase in global table grape export volume is seen. About 56% of Chile’s total table grape shipments are exported to the U.S.

Red and green table grapes should be arriving from Chile a little earlier than last year due to a warm winter in the northern Chilean growing areas.

Chilean table grape imports are expected to be similar to last year’s 63.7 million 18-pound boxes.

The cherry committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) expected growers to produce 95.4 million 5-kilogram (11-pound) boxes, which is a 15% increase over last season.

The first boat load of Chilean cherries left for the U.S. in early November.

Last year, Chilean growers shipped 3.2 million boxes of cherries to the U.S.

Naturipe Farms of Salinas, CA notes overall acreage of fruit crops in Chile has been declining as growers look at other crops and other markets. The company sees lower volumes in the 2023-24 season as a lot more of the Chilean crop is going to Asia and Europe.

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U.S. Imports of Chilean Cherries are Expected to Double this Season

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Imported Chilean cherries are expected to make another dramatic increase this season, while fewer blueberries and grapes are predicted.

Chile has become the leading supplier of cherries in the southern hemisphere, delivering 96 percent of the world’s counter season supply. Last season’s exports exceeded 356,000 tons, reflecting a growth of 98 percent in three years when compared to the 179,927 tons exported in 2018-2019. It is projected that this season will incur another 25 percent increase.

According to figures from the Office of Agrarian Studies and Policies (Odepa), cherry exports to the U.S. totaled 4,638 tons in 2020 and rose to 7,615 tons in 2021. So far in 2022, the figure has already reached 9,328 tons.

During the 2021-2022 season, cherry exports to the U.S. grew by 94 percent, according to the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. The organization
expect exports to the U.S. to double again this 2022-2023 season.

In the case of table grapes, the main market is North America, receiving 320,000 tons during the 2021-2022 season, equivalent to 53 percent of total world grape exports.

According to estimates by the Table Grape Committee, this year’s harvest will be 7.7 percent lower than last season.

The projections of the Chilean Blueberry Committee-ASOEX estimate a volume of 98,228 tons of fresh Chilean blueberries for the 2022-2023 season. Shipments to the US market have already started and will continue until February. If the committee’s estimate is reached, it will mean a drop of 8 percent for the 2021-2022 season.

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Imports of Chilean Fruit Continue to Provide Major Supplies

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During the past three decades Chile was the primary supplier of fruit to the U.S. market, and this success has attracted more competition.

Chile accounted for 41% of U.S. import grape value from September 2021 through August 2022, up from 39% for the same period in 2021 but down from 64% in 2015 and nearly half of its 76% share in 2000.

For berries, excluding strawberries, Chile accounted for 9% of total U.S. imports in 2022, down from 14% in 2021, 21% in 2015 and 11% in 2000.

Chile represents 20% of U.S. citrus imports by value in 2022, unchanged from 2021 and about the same as in 2015.

In 2022, Chile commands big market share advantages for U.S. imports of cherries (53%), plums (91%), peaches (98%) and apples (52%). For pears, Chile accounts for 18% of U.S. import pear value in 2022.

Chile accounts for 24% of U.S. kiwifruit imports, down from 26% in 2021 and off from 41% in 2015.

For the upcoming season, the Chilean Blueberry Committee, with the consulting firm iQonsulting, has estimated export volume of 98,228 tons of fresh blueberries from Chile for the 2022-23 season, down about 8% compared with last year. Shipments to the U.S. began in October and will continue through February.

Chilean cherry shipments to the U.S. began the last week of October and will increase, continuing into February, according the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.

Chile is the world’s largest exporter of cherries, shipping 77.8 million boxes around the globe last year. The South American country projects cherry exports to the U.S. will have substantial growth in 2021-22, with nearly 13,000 metric tons expected for the U.S. market this season.

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Chilean Fruit Imports Up More than 50% from Last Season

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Chile has exported 708,741 tons of fresh fruit, showing an increase of 7.85 percent when compared to the same period last year, according to
the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (ASOEX) in the current shipping season of 2021-2022 (September 1, 2021 – January 11, 2022).

The Far East is the main destination to date, with 301,181 tons received, but it represents a decrease of 4.75 percent compared to the previous season, as reported by Simfruit.

The Far East is the main destination to date, with 301,181 tons received, but it represents a decrease of 4.75 percent compared to the previous season, as reported by Simfruit.

The U.S. has received 177,642 tons, reflecting a significant increase of 54.6 percent.

Following the U.S. is Latin America with 114,936 tons (+10.45 percent), Europe with 106,849 tons (+21.35 percent), Canada with 6,354 tons (-19 percent), and the Middle East with 1,142 tons (+92 percent).

In terms of participation, the Middle East received 43 percent of all Chilean fruit exported to date, followed by the U.S. with 25 percent, Latin America with 16 percent, and Europe with 15 percent.

The main fruits exported to date are cherries (291,503 tons), avocados (97,188 tons), mandarins (87,869 tons), apples (97,188 tons), blueberries (55,371 tons), oranges (25,696 tons), and table grapes (17,373 tons).

However, increased rates for freight has led to lower margins for exporters and increased prices for consumers.

Honeybear Brands of Elgin, MN, a leading grower and marketer of premium apples, pears and cherries continues to grow its direct winter cherry program for retailers. The companies’ dual-hemisphere cherry program provides quality fruit available during winter, direct from Chile, and summer months, domestically from Washington and California.

Chilean Cherries are available late December through February and domestic cherries are available May through August.

Honeybear Brands has more than 25 years of experience growing and importing premium apples and pears in Chile through is growing partner Frusan. This partnership has created a seamless opportunity to provide a premier cherry supply to our retailers as Frusan continues to expand their cherry production.     

“Imported cherries require detailed attention to successfully get into the customers shopping basket, and we’re proud of the supply chain we have built ensuring our customers get the freshest, most flavorful fruit from Chile driving repeat sales,” says Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands.

“Grower partnerships in the Southern Hemisphere allow us to provide some of the highest-quality fruit in the world. We are dedicated to take that privilege and help retailers avoid shrink, drive high sales and gain repeat customers,” continues Roper.

About Honeybear Brands

Honeybear is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties.  Family owned and operated for more than 45 years, the company is a leading vertically integrated, dual hemisphere grower, packer, and shipper. Honeybear offers supply of premium apples, pears and cherries on a year-round basis. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wescott Agri Products. For more information about Honeybear, visit

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Imports of Chilean Fruit are Seasonally Increasing

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The harvest of Chilean table grapes in the Atacama region kicked off in mid December, one week behind last season, yielding mostly white seedless grapes (Sugraone, Prime Seedless, and Timson), as well as a lower volume of Flame Seedless. 

The Chilean Fresh Fruits Association reports exports of table grapes got underway with the New Year, with just 475 tons shipped globally during the first week. A total of 219 tons were destined to North America, which is Chile’s largest export market. Exports to this market will continue to ramp up.

Last season, Chile exported a total of 600,960 tons with about 50 percent shipped to North America. It is expected the number will increase in 2021.

There will be increased volumes of the more popular newer varieties (Timco, Sweet Celebration, Allison, etc.) and lower volumes of varieties such as Flame Seedless.

Stone fruit volume will hit high gear in February and runs through April.

Through mid-December, Chile has shipped 370 tons of plums globally including 201 tons to North America. Early pickings focused on Early Queen and Big Fusion varieties.

With nectarines, 2,992 tons were shipped through the same time period with 1,084 destined for North America. Early picking focused on Zee Fire, Rio Red and Early Juan varieties.

As for peaches, so far 2,550 tons have been shipped globally with 64 percent headed to North America. The main varieties harvested season to date have been Early Majestic and Super Rich.

Chilean berry shipments have been particularly strong, resulting in 13.6 percent growth compared to the same period last year.

The country started exporting blueberries to North America in mid-August, but there were only small volumes until mid-November, and very concentrated in organics from the northern region. The first week that Chile shipped more than 1,000 tons to North America was November 16-22.

Peak loadings by boat are underway from Chile, with good weekly through February. The forecast calls for 111,500 tons of total fresh blueberry exports, 2 percent higher than last season.

Total shipped volume (globally) through December 13 was 26,127 tons with about half of all volume shipped heading for North America. Still, the number of imports to the U.S. is down about 11 percent from last season.

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Chilean and Peruvian Fruit Imports Should be Good over Winter

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A fully stocked cargo ship heading out to sea.

Forever Fresh of Wilimington, DL reports anticipating good volumes of Chilean cherries and stone fruit as well as Peruvian grapes this season.

The importer notes its first two Chilean fruits this season are cherries and stone fruit and are looking “pretty good.” The Chilean cherry season is underway, and Chile’s total exports are expected to increase. The stone fruit season has just started.

Chile-based Garcés fruit – an owner of Forever Fresh is one of the world’s largest cherry exporters. It has been shipping steady volumes into the U.S. over at least a decade. The company may see a gradual increase in shipments to the U.S. as Garcés’ new plantings come into production, but there may not be a rise in total volumes from Chile despite an expected production increase of up to 15 percent. This is because the volumes out of Chile to the U.S. have been decreasing every year, with the volumes increasing in Chile.

The additional volume probably will be exported to Asia rather than coming to the U.S.

The stone fruit harvest started in mid-November, with the first arrivals in the U.S. set for early December. Additionally, there will be larger volumes of newer varieties – especially of plums and nectarines – from trees planted in Chile over the past five to six years.

The Peruvian grape season is underway, with expectations of a significant increase in volume over last year. There will be an increase in total production in Peru, although it will vary between different areas, but in general expectations are for around a 20 percent increase.

Forever Fresh’s first containers of Peruvian grapes arrived in mid-November, with the peak season set to begin in December.

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Chilean Fruit Imports Look Favorable; California Sumo Citrus Variety to Have Big Increase

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DSCN1432Imports of Chilean fruit are seen as looking good in the new season.  Meanwhile, a California shipper plans a big increase in it Sumo citrus loadings.

Among Chilean fruit imports expected to have strong volume destined for the U.S. are blueberries, lemons and citrus.

The Chilean fruit 2017-18 shipping season hit record levels for exports because of near perfect growing conditions. While the 2018-19 shipping season is also expected to be strong, volume is predicted to be down about 5 percent from 2017-18’s 110,000 metric tons.  Organic exports are forecast to make up about 10 percent of the total volume.

Chilean blueberries are seen as having strong imports by the U.S.  Increases in U.S. imports are being forecast for citrus and lemons.  The Chilean navel crop had a small increase, with volume up to 99,000 metric tons over last season’s 84,000 metric tons.  Of note is the U.S. imports about 90 percent of that volume.

The easy-peeler category was launched by clementines last May and W. Murcotts in July. Clementine volume was up about 40 percent, to 61,000 metric tons, and the W. Murcott crop saw an increase of around 30 percent to 110,000 metric tons.

Since the U.S. and Chile have opposite seasons, the later has the ability of exporting produce items when the U.S. is either out of season, or at low production.

We’ll soon be having an update on Chile’s biggest volume produce export item, table grapes.

Sumo Citrus Shipments

Suntreat of Lindsay, CA will have larger volume from the west coast this season with its Sumo citrus.  Suntreat, which is a division of AC Foods, handles Sumo from Australia between mid-September and mid-October.  This is followed by California’s Sumo season which ships product from January into April.

The Sumo, is a large mandarin developed in Japan, and is related to the orange family.  The Sumo is an exclusive citrus varietal for the company.  AC Foods expects to experience significant growth this year, shipping about 5 million, 5-pound cases.




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Columbian Imports by U.S. Imports are Approved; Early Season Chilean Fruits are Now Arriving

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01152018Columbian imported avocados are being introduced to the United States…Meanwhile, it is springtime in Chile and it’s that time of the year for arrivals of Chilean grapes and well as other fruits.

Last August the USDA approved hass avocados imports by the U.S. from Colombia.  It won’t be heavy volume for sure but observers see slow, but steady increases in 2018.  Colombian agriculture officials said in a news release that hass exports will start this month from a farm near Antioquia, a production area that has been approved for exports to the U.S.

Hass avocado exports from Colombia will increase by 20 percent to Europe and North America, according to the officials with the Colombian Agricultural and Livestock Institute. The USDA reports through November 2017,  imports of Columbian avocados totaled 29,300 metric tons.

The Columbian institute works with 33 hass avocado production sites including buffer areas.  After complying with plant health requirements put in place by USDA and Colombian officials, all those sites will be authorized to export to the U.S.

Chilean Fruit Imports

California grape shipments to U.S. markets are on their last leg.  Quality has been variable in recent weeks although plenty of pretty sweet grapes have been loaded for this late in the season.  As California finishes up it season, Chilean import grapes are already arriving by boat at U.S. ports, but at this point mostly at Philadelphia.  As fruit volume increases from Chile, other ports such as those at Los Angeles will begin receiving product.   It is early in the Chilean grape season and around 375 truckloads of the fruit are arriving weekly, but volume is increasing with the majority of the volume coming during the next couple of months.  Chilean peaches and plums also are coming in by boat, but in very light volume that also is increasing.

(Photo was taken by Bill Martin in January 1992 on a trip to Chile.  It was photographed at a grape packing plant in Northern Chile.)





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Chilean Fruit Imports will be Increasing with New Year

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DSCN3254+1Chilean fruit imports to the U.S. are seasonally light this month, but will show significant increases with the New Year.

The main two fruits imported from Chile in December are blueberries and cherries. The biggest item for Chile, are table grapes, which are available January through April.  Chilean stone fruit imports are available from February through April.

Chilean blueberry imports are currently very light with the heaviest volume coming in January and February.  Through November 6th, 744 tons of fresh Chilean blueberries had been imported by North America.  The crop estimate for Chilean blueberries is about 94,000 tons, with North America expected to import around  70 percent of that total.

Chile exported 32.7 million boxes — about 91,038 tons — of fresh blueberries during the 2015-16 season, with North America continuing to be the principal market. Volume shipped to North American continues to increase each season.

In 2015-16, North America imported 69 percent of all Chilean blueberry exports, an increase of three percent over the previous season.

For the 2016-17 season Chile plans to export about 94,000 tons, with North America to receiving around 70 percent of the total.

There is about a six week window for Chilean cherry imports to North American between mid-December and late January.  Cherries are also a popular Chinese New Year item,  depending on when Chinese New Year falls; In 2017, it is January 28th.

There are no official projections on cherry volumes destined for North America this season, but if weather conditions in Chile remain favorable the total crop export would be around 20 million boxes.

Chile has an excellent fruit production zone because of the natural isolating effects of the landscape of the country – the Atacama Desert in the north, the Andes Mountains to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the ice-fields to the south.

The unique natural geography of the country consisting of separate independent zones of production have enabled Chile to establish high quality fruit production, without the problems of viruses that have blighted the development of the fruit industries in other countries.


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