Chile exported a record 2,781,092 tons of fruit in the 2017-2018 season, driven by brisk sales to China, an industry group said Thursday.
According to a report from Chile's Fruit Exporters Association (Asoex), the record marked a 6.7-percent increase over the previous season.
Asoex President Ronald Bown said booming exports to Asia, especially China, is a major reason for the record figure.
During the 2017-2018 season, Asia was the fastest growing market for Chile's fruit exporters, up 30.7 percent.
This increase underlines the great interest the fruit export sector has for the Asia-Pacific markets, said Bown, adding that he believes in the near future, "Asia, especially China, will be the leading market for Chilean fruit exports."
Sales of cherries and cranberries to Asia led the rise in export volume, with cherry sales jumping 96 percent, making cherry Chile's third-leading export fruit. More than 90 percent of the cherry exports were shipped to China.
Although sales to North America dipped 2.6 percent, the North American market, made up of the United States and Canada, was still the top destination for Chilean fruit exports (32 percent of the total), followed by China, Holland, Britain and Colombia.
"Our objective is to have more people around the world consume Chilean fruit," Bown said.