W37: Cherry Update

In W37 in the cherry landscape, the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association indicates that Turkey's fresh fruit and vegetable export value grew by a significant 16% to USD 2.05 million from Jan-23 to Aug-23, an increase of 16.5% compared to the same period in 2022. Turkish cherry export value reached USD 214 million in the first eight months of 2023, a notable surge of 59.7% compared to the USD 134 million in the same period in 2022.

Chile is experiencing the El Niño phenomenon in 2023, causing high temperatures and increased rainfall in central and southern regions. Cherry trees, which require high cold hours, are particularly affected. Saturated soils and damaged irrigation systems in areas like Maule and O'Higgins pose challenges. Cold hours accumulation in 2023 was lower than in the previous years, resulting in reduced flowering and flower viability issues. This could lead to a decrease in cherry volumes compared to the previous estimate of 100 million boxes. Experts recommend reinforcing phytosanitary programs to address this challenge, optimizing irrigation monitoring and enhancing external infrastructure for future climate events.

The Peruvian cherry industry is undergoing an adaptation and growth process to become a profitable agricultural export. Cherry cultivation is primarily focused on the northern Peruvian coast, where technological resources and irrigation projects are more abundant. However, the region faces challenges due to limited cold hours. In mountainous areas, where cold conditions are more favorable, issues such as rainfall limitations, frost, and logistical complexities arise due to poor road infrastructure.

Cherry cultivation requires specific conditions, including temperatures between 18 to 24 degrees Celsius, humidity above 50%, and suitable loamy or sandy loam soil. Depending on the variety, cherry trees need 400 to 900 hours of cold and 600 to 800 hours of solar radiation. Challenges in cherry cultivation in Peru include issues with flowering, fruit setting, fruit drop, and low pollen viability, which require further research. While progress is underway in experimental plots, achieving commercial scalability and competitiveness with countries like Chile is estimated to take six to eight years, as the Peruvian industry continues to learn and adapt.

Lastly, according to the National Agricultural Health Service of Argentina (Senasa), cherry exports from Chubut, Neuquén, Río Negro, and Santa Cruz provinces totaled 4.29 thousand metric tons (mt) in the 2022/23 season. This marks a decrease of 898.4 mt compared to the 2021/22 season, when 5.19 thousand mt were exported.

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