According to EastFruit analysts, in May 2023, Tajikistan exported a record volume of fresh cherries to China for this month and even surpassed Uzbekistan. It should be noted that we are talking about relatively small volumes of products compared to these supplied by other exporters. However, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are among the very limited number of countries that have clearance from Chinese authorities to supply cherries to the Chinese market.
Exports of sweet cherries from Tajikistan to China in May 2023 amounted to only 25 tons, while Uzbekistan exported only 9 tons during the same month. It is interesting to note that in the previous two years, neither Tajikistan nor Uzbekistan exported a single kilogram of cherries to China in May. The last time cherries from these countries were supplied to China in May was in 2019, when Uzbekistan was able to export 88 tons and Tajikistan 20 tons.
Sweet cherries are extremely important for China. It is main imported fruit to the country after durian in terms of value. China annually spends more than $5 billion on imports of sweet cherries, and this is without the $1.5 billion that Hong Kong spends on importing these fruits! The main volumes of cherries are imported to these countries during the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
“Cherry has become a definite symbol of prosperity for ordinary Chinese. There is even a popular expression: “China’s cherry economic freedom.” It is very prestigious to be able to afford buying cherries in winter in China and this confirms the high social status of the consumer. Accordingly, the sweet cherry has automatically become a symbol of the Chinese New Year. Suppliers from Chile make very good money on this phenomenon, where sweet cherries are being harvested at that time,” says Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Not surprisingly, shipments from Chile account for almost 100% of Chinese imports of cherries during the winter. Annually Chile exports more than 500 thousand tons of fresh cherries to China and Hong Kong combined! Significantly smaller volumes are also supplied to the region by Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia.
Source: East Fruit