During the first two months of 2018, Chinese fruit imports increased by 22% in volume and 58% in value. The main products that contributed to this growth were cherries, oranges, blueberries, and bananas.
Chinese cherry imports amounted to a record 135,000 tons, 191% more than in the same period in 2017. Chile achieved a record harvest this season and the country's producers are doing their best to meet the high demand of cherries from Chinese consumers, with imports of 134,000 tons (+ 194%) in just two months.
Orange exports to China increased by 40%, with 17,600 tons from the USA. (+ 30%) and 11,100 tons from Egypt (+ 76%). This year, China's domestic orange production was hit by the citrus greening disease or Huanglongbing (HLB). Meanwhile, blueberry import volumes increased by 71% this year, with 95% coming from Chile and the rest from Peru.
According to data from the Fresh Fruit Bulletin prepared by the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa), in the 2017-2018 season total exports of cherries amounted to a record 184,372 tons. China was the main destination market with a volume of 156,326 tons, which accounts for 84.7% of the total.
According to data from Chile's Blueberry Committee, in the 2017-2018 season the country exported a total of 110,571 tons of blueberries, 71,062 tons of which were destined to the United States and Canada, 26,019 tons to Europe, 13,177 tons to the Far East, and 313 tons to other markets.