Ongoing growth in China’s citrus imports is fuelled by strong thirst for fresh – and thus counter-seasonal – fruit, reports the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN). And the main suppliers – South Africa, Australia and the US – are also benefiting from the increasing cost of locally-grown fruit, GAIN said in its 2014 citrus annual for China.
Among its forecasts for the 2014/15 marketing year:
Orange imports: to rise 13% on previous year to 100,000 tons (South Africa then the US the main suppliers);
Mandarin imports: to rise more than 30% to 24,000 tons (South Africa & Australia the main suppliers);
Grapefruit imports: to rise 23% to 32,000 tons (imports from South Africa have grown to meet higher demand as more consumers become aware of grapefruit’s nutritional benefits).
Online fresh produce sales up 41% to more than $930 million
GAIN also said the majority of China’s imported citrus is sold through major retailers, convenience stores, fruit stalls, high-end hotels, restaurants and e-commerce.
It noted e-trade platforms developed fast in 2014 and though the market share is still small, using they are increasingly popular in China, where revenue from online fresh product sales rose nearly 41% in 2013 to more than $930 million.
“Selling fresh fruit online has continued to expand rapidly over the past 4 years. For example, Fruit Day was the first company to develop an online website to sell fresh fruit products in 2009 followed by Guo Ku Wang (www.guocool.com) and Tou Tou Gong She (www.tootoo.com). Guocool.com also provides fresh-cut products online,” GAIN said.
Shanghai the preferred entry port
Guangzhou is China’s biggest fruit import distribution hub but importers increasingly prefer the next biggest, Shanghai, because of domestic transportation costs and other cost concerns.
Read the report
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