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China uses chartered ship for Chilean cherries as domestic demand booms ahead of holiday season Release date: 2023-01-05    Source:Global Times

A refrigerated bulk carrier loaded with more than 4,300 tons of Chilean cherries arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday after a voyage of more than 10,000 kilometers, as traders are betting on the big appetites of Chinese consumers in the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year holiday season.

It also marks the first time that the domestic fruit industry has used a chartered ship to import cherries into China, the logistics arm of China Eastern, which organized the delivery, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The batch of cherries travelled via a "customized sea route" from Chile to China, which greatly shortened the transportation time, and they will shortly appear on the shelves of merchants such as Sam's and, said the company.

During sea transportation, since there was no need to stop at a third destination port, the cherries were "undisturbed" throughout the process and kept fresh at a constant temperature, the company said.

At present, the cherries Chile exports to China account for 90 percent of its total output, and the export scale has increased more than 10 times in the past decade. Cherries have become a representative of agricultural cooperation between China and Chile.

From October 2021 to March 2022, China's imports of Chilean cherries totaled $2.24 billion, according to data from the General Administration of Customs of China. In 2021, Chilean cherries accounted for 95 percent of China's cherry imports.

Chinese consumers have increasing demand for high-quality fruits and products, and China is about to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which falls on January 21 this year, and consumption will rise.

Chinese customs also announced that it would revoke anti-COVID-19 measures, including nucleic acid testing, at ports of entry for all imported cold-chain foods and non-cold-chain items on January 8, which is expected to further increase the transportation efficiency for foreign cold-chain products.