U.S.-South Korea trade agreement offers potential export boost

05/08/2012 03:09:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

“We sell a lot of gift boxes,” he said, adding the corrugated containers range in weight from 2.5 to 5 kilograms.

The United Kingdom also is a strong export market for Superfresh Growers, he said.

Exports comprise about 30% of Chelan Fresh Marketing Inc.’s cherry shipments, said Mac Riggan, vice president of marketing.

Many markets favor the 20-pound bulk carton because it has fewer air spaces than a carton filled with clamshells. The goal is to pack as many cherries into a cargo hold as possible.

Riggan said Taiwan is a huge market, and China, Australia, Vietnam and South Korea are growing for the Chelan, Wash.-based firm.

Suzanne Wolter, director of marketing for Rainier Fruit Co., Selah, Wash., said she is withholding judgment on export opportunities for this year’s crop.

“It remains to be seen what happens with freight costs, oil prices and the value of the dollar two months from now. My crystal ball isn’t that clear,” she said.

Borton and Sons Inc., Yakima, ships a fair amount of its crop export, although Dave Whiteside, salesman, said the market can be volatile.

“It can be strong, then go weak,” he said.


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