2022/23 Southern Hemisphere Cherry Season Outlook: Chile, Argentina and Australia

According to Rabobank’s industry research report, “Southern Hemisphere Cherries, Export Growth Trends and Challenges,” cherry-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere will return to normalcy in the first normal production season after the New Crown epidemic. Among them, Chilean cherry exports will increase by 25%, while Australian cherry production and quality continue to be affected by La Niña. All cherry-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere will face similar challenges, such as increased competition, lower prices and shrinking profit margins due to rising production costs.


Cool temperatures, rainy, frost less winters and warm springs have allowed for good yields and quality of Chilean cherries in the 2022/23 season. According to the Chilean Sweet Cherry Commission, Chilean cherry exports are forecast to grow another 25 percent this season to 447,000 tons (about 90 million 5-kg boxes). This is attributed to the fact that the successful marketing of Chilean cherries in China has sparked a cherry fever in Chile, with some 5,000-6,000 hectares of plantations switching from low-margin fruits to cherries each year, resulting in an expanding cherry acreage.

According to Rabobank analyst Salinas, the percentage of newly planted Chilean cherry trees entering fruit production remains high for this season and the next three seasons, and production is expected to continue to be high. Constraints such as labor shortages and logistical disruptions caused by the new crown epidemic will not exist in the first season after the epidemic. However, the capacity of cherry packing plants cannot keep up with the yearly increase in production, and delays in sorting lines and packing processes will be a bottleneck limiting cherry exports. In addition, China’s new crown epidemic control measures are another uncertainty affecting cherry exports, and Chilean cherry exports will also be affected if any port city is closed for control due to the epidemic outbreak.

Cherries have become one of the best choices of Chinese consumers for Chinese New Year gifts, while other countries in the northern hemisphere still consider cherries as a summer fruit, making China the number one importer of cherries in the southern hemisphere. Exports of Chilean sweet cherries to China have increased sevenfold in the last 10 years.

Salinas said that the first Chilean cherries sold by air to China from late October to early December will be of low quality and low volume, while cherries exported by sea to China from early December to the Chinese New Year will usually account for 90% of Chilean cherry sales in China. The first Chilean cherries exported by sea to China between early December and the Chinese New Year usually account for 90% of Chilean cherry sales in China and need to be sold in less than 50 days this season, which will put pressure on prices. Therefore, all segments of the Chilean cherry industry are working hard to improve efficiency and pack as many cherries as possible for shipment to China in the first half of December.


Australian cherry production has remained at 15,000 tons over the past few years, with exports at 4,000-5,000 tons. With 450,000 additional cherry trees coming into production since 2018, the industry is still in a growth period, but the La Niña weather event, which has been ongoing for three years, has had an impact on both cherry production and quality. The abnormal rains caused by La Niña have had a particularly severe impact on the main cherry producing regions of Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania in eastern Australia. 2021/22 season Australian cherry production was down 15% year-on-year and exports were down 20% year-on-year, and cherry production is expected to continue to be affected by it this season. 99% of Australian cherries are exported by air, and poor logistics and soaring freight costs have also led to export The drop in cherry exports to China was 68% lower last season.


Argentina is the second largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere, exporting 5,433 tons of cherries in the 2021/22 season. Unlike Chile, which sells 90 percent of its cherry exports to China, Argentina has a more balanced distribution of export destinations – North America (35 percent), Asia (35 percent), Europe (21 percent), and the Middle East (8 percent). The growth in Argentine sweet cherry exports is driven by efficiency gains and industry consolidation rather than a significant increase in acreage, and its growth is expected to be more limited in the medium term.

Source: International Fruit and Vegetable Report

Post time: Nov-23-2022