Although copper remains Chile's largest commodity export (60 percent), food exports from Chile are increasing with several products such as fresh grapes, blueberries and salmon leading exports in world markets.
With an annual copper production of about 5.37 million tonnes, Chile controls 33 percent of the global copper market. The country is also home to the largest copper reserves in the world. Other significant non-food exports include wood pulp, wood chips and newsprint paper.
In recent years however, according to a report by ProChile (the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ program to promote exports), seven food products have achieved number one in exports in world markets. These are: fresh grapes, frozen salmon, fresh blueberries, frozen trout, fresh plums, smoked fish and dried apples. Other food exports in which Chile ranks second in the world are fish fillets, fish meal, fresh cherries, Atlantic salmon and dried plums.
According to La Tercera (in Spanish) Catalina Pfenniger, ProChile’s Assistant Director of Development said:Chile is a leader in the export of copper cathodes, with 33.3 percent of world exports, but we are also a leader in fresh grapes, with 20.6 percent of exports to the world produced in Chile.
Pfenniger noted that international accords such as free trade agreements (FTA) and the agreement of the Pacific Alliance have helped boost non-copper exports: Chile is an exporting country, fully open to the world. Today we have 22 FTAs in force with 60 countries, including the European Union, China, United States, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico and the Mercosur, among others, which gives us access to trade preferences to 62 percent of the world's population.
The main destinations for Chilean exports including copper, forest products and foodstuffs, are China (14.8 percent), United States (10.5 percent), Japan (10.5 percent), the Netherlands (5.8), South Korea (5.7), Italy (5.1) and Brazil (5.0).