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The US cherry market is set to take a hit from issues stemming from the Coronavirus and continued tariffs. The US/China tariff deal has only reduced the cherry duty by 7.5% from 60% total, which means we are still at 52.5%. With the repercussions after and possible global recession because of China’s struggle with the Coronavirus and what that means to have so many people not working and not sending money back to their families, we expect premium priced foods to be a much harder sell come spring and summer of 2020.

Currently, there is a back-up of perishables including cherries from Chile at Chinese ports and more on the way behind it. Shippers proved to be very resourceful last year by expanding to other Asian markets to offset decreases in exports to China due to tariffs. They’ll need to continue this practice into 2020 to safeguard against the demand issues arising after the outbreak. However, now that we’re seeing the virus move across Asia, with Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong all reporting to have cases popping up.
The perishable’s market is a major concern for our exporters and our industry since the outbreak of Coronavirus. It has had a huge impact on the Chilean cherry and unfortunately it will shape our upcoming season as well if the situation is not under control. Some think it will get worse as we go, with more cases surfacing and the real number of infected proving to be deflated. If there is no country immune from it, it will be harder for suppliers to diversify their marketing strategy this time around.

Unfortunately there’s no crystal ball to see the future right now, so all we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If you need advice on how to prepare your perishables cargo, CFI has the resources you’ll need to put your best foot forward. Please reach out to your CFI representative today to get started!

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