Another strong season expected for Northwest cherry exports

05/06/2011 02:02:00 PM
Tom Karst

Last year, Willett said exporters lost up to $4.4 million in South Korea and $8.2 million in Taiwan because of rejections relating to the testing regime.

U.S. cherry imports have been on the rise from the Southern Hemisphere, particularly Chile.

In 2008, statistics showed Chile supplied 91% of U.S. cherry imports.

USDA statistics show U.S. cherry imports from Chile through early April totaled 49.59 million pounds, up from 22.86 million pounds a year ago.

The growth of the Southern Hemisphere cherry deal is a positive for U.S. cherry marketers, O’Rourke said.

“The Chileans have pretty much doubled the amount of cherries, and pricing didn’t drop that much,” he said.

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