January 8, 2019 / 9:30 PM / 2 months ago

China replaces U.S. as top buyer of Chile's agroforestry exports

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - China became the primary market for Chile’s agroforestry exports in 2018, surpassing the United States for the first time, a Chilean government agency said on Tuesday.

Last year, exports in the sector to China totaled $3.681 billion, a jump of 50.7 percent compared with 2017, according to a report by the government’s Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (ODEPA).

China represented 20.8 percent of the total exports of the sector, while the United States accounted for 17 percent. Exports to the United States increased 4.4 percent year-on-year in 2018 to $3.006 billion.

Chile’s agroforestry exports include wine, grapes, cherries, apples and cranberries, according to ODEPA.

Chile’s trade balance for the forestry and agricultural sector was $11.162 billion in December, an increase of 17 percent compared with the same period the previous year.

Reporting by Marion Giraldo in Santiago; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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