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Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China

Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China © Dazzle

© Dazzle

 

New Zealand’s newest apple variety Dazzle has arrived in China with large celebrations at wholesale markets as importers and retailers race to get a taste. It’s the first year that there have been large volumes of Dazzle apples available for Chinese customers and they weren’t wasting any time to get their hands on the delicious, red, sweet apple from New Zealand.

Joy Wing Mau’s International Buyer Li Bin was involved in the launches at Guangzhou and Shanghai wholesale markets and says it is very exciting to have access to larger volumes of Dazzle Apples for Chinese consumers this year. “We are so happy and very excited to introduce Dazzle apples. Dazzle is a variety which we know has been specifically developed for the Asia market, with its sweet, crunchy and delicious taste, as well as good storability. There is a strong brand and it’s great to be part of a successful launch which will help us promote Dazzle to Chinese consumers. We value our strong relationship with New Zealand apple growers and suppliers,” said Bin.

© Dazzle

 

The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Trade Commissioner, Pete Frost presented at the celebrations and cut the ribbon, officially launching Dazzle apples to the China market, saying New Zealand’s apple industry is rated the best in the world. “New Zealand apple growers are agile and innovative. They use world-leading science and technology to deliver to ever-changing customer demands. The New Zealand horticulture industry is investing in new varieties, which are earning premium prices in the global marketplace,” said Frost.

Dazzle Apples were developed over 20 years by Plant and Food Research – a New Zealand Government Crown Research Institute. They are exclusively available from a selected group of exporters and are set to be one of the most popular and largest volume apples coming from New Zealand.

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Philippines bananas being squeezed out of Chinese market

Philippines bananas being squeezed out of Chinese market © Marlith (Creative Commons)

© Marlith (Creative Commons)

 

The Philippines Banana Planter and Exporter Association (PBGEA) has announced that profits in banana exports fell by 15% due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which increased shipping costs and delayed transport, reports Business Mirror.

Shipping costs increased by 15%-20% last year, and the transport period increased from an average of 25 days to an average of 30-33 days. The main reason for this delay in transport is the spillover effect from backlogs in Chinese and Singaporean ports in late 2020. Backlogs in one port mean that supply ships miss their rendezvous, which leads to further delays.

The Philippines suffers more from distribution problems in comparison with countries like Vietnam and Cambodia that are closer to the Chinese market. That is why Vietnamese and Cambodian bananas gradually push bananas from the Philippines out of the Chinese market. Last year almost 90% of the Chinese import bananas came from the Philippines, while only 10% came from Vietnam and Cambodia. This year almost 40% of the Chinese import bananas come from Vietnam and Cambodia.

Banana exports declined by 51% in January to 186,000 tons of bananas, while the export value dropped by 47% to US$85 million. Japan is still the largest export market for bananas from the Philippines in terms of export value, but China is the largest market in terms of volume. The income from banana export slumped 20.6% in 2020 to US$1.55 billion.

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China’s fresh fruit imports slip 8.9% in 2020

China’s fresh fruit imports slip 8.9% in 2020
Photo: Retail China – CR Vangard

Despite China’s imports of fresh produce falling y-o-y in volume terms in 2020, they were up in value, according to Chinese customs data. China imported 5.3 million tons of fresh fruit in 2020, with bananas leading the way (1.7 million tons; 32%). Next came dragon fruit (618,000 tons), followed by durian (575,000 tons), mangos (379,000) and longans (347,000 tons). 

Due to the impact of the pandemic on logistics, the total volume was down 8.9% compared to 2019. However, the value of fruit imports increased by 7% to US$1.73 per kg. Durians were the fruit that registered the highest price rise over the 12 months (+44%). Cherry imports bucked the trend, increasing in volume by 8.7% to 210,000 tons.

Fresh vegetable imports slumped 22.6% y-o-y to 72,000 tons.

 

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Chinese demand premium tomatoes

Chinese demand premium tomatoes - Joyce Cui, vice-president of Haisheng Agriculture Co (China) © Global Tomato Congress

Joyce Cui, vice-president of Haisheng Agriculture Co (China) © Global Tomato Congress

 

Chinese consumers are seeking better-quality and safer tomatoes. This is the news that Joyce Cui, vice-president of Haisheng Agriculture Co (China), brought to the Global Tomato Congress on 16th March. “In general,demand is for the new concepts and better products,” said Cui.

Market data points to an over-supply of traditional tomato production, but a short supply of premium varieties. China is the world’s largest tomato producer with 1m hectares of growing area – 42% of which is in open fields and 35% under plastic.

In 2017, Cui’s firm, Haisheng, embarked on state-of-the-art ‘Dutch’ greenhouse tomato production with a view to growing new varieties, many of which were imported from Europe. When the company launched its own tomato brand on the market in 2017, with a much higher price point than traditional tomatoes, it was well accepted by retailers and consumers.

We may be seeing the fruit of this work in other parts of the world over the coming years as the firm seeks to expand its markets.

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Slight upturn in Chinese pear exports 

Slight upturn in Chinese pear exports 
Photo: Freepik

Following the country’s Spring Festival (12 February), Chinese pear exports started to recover gradually. With the global pandemic slowly coming under control, shipping prices have begun to fall. The upcoming Hari Raya (13-15 May) celebrations in Indonesia should further stimulate Chinese pear exports. However, the domestic market has slowed down due to lower production volumes (and higher prices) resulting from poor weather conditions.

As demand has risen in recent years, there has been an increase in production of almost all pear varieties in China, particularly new varieties like Hong Xiang Su, Gyokuro, New No. 7, and Autumn Moon.

 

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First Californian avocados land in China

First Californian avocados land in China © Mission Produce

© Mission Produce

 

Mission Produce and Mr. Avocado have sent the first-ever shipment of avocados to China from California. The market access was granted for avocados from California following years of negotiation and planning between the California Avocado Commission, the USDA and the government of China.

Steve Barnard, CEO and founder of Mission Produce, said: “Mission was the first  to send avocados to China from Peru, Chile and Colombia – and now we’re the first to send from California. Our goal is to provide a year-round supply of the world’s finest avocados, and now we’re doing so with more volumes and availability than before.”

John Wang, CEO of Mr. Avocado, said: “Sourcing from the premium source of California will open more opportunity for Chinese retailers to capitalise on the lucrative and healthy avocado. California avocados are  high  quality in late  winter to early spring, which hits the market in perfect time to allow consumers the ability to enjoy a great tasting piece of fruit year round.”

Transit time from California to China takes 14-16 days by sea. California avocados in China are expected to be available at Ole, Rainbow Supermarket, Aldi China, JD.com, Seven Fresh and Pagoda stores.

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China International Cross-border eCommerce Supply Chain Fair

China International Cross-border eCommerce Supply Chain Fair

© China International Cross-border eCommerce Supply Chain Fair

 

The event will be held on 23-25 September, 2021 at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center, Shenzhen, China. It promises to be a premier B2B trade exhibition focusing on cross-border e-commerce solutions.

From the product display and supply-demand docking of factories, the policy explanation of the official team of cross-border eCommerce platforms , to the on-site purchase of cross-border e-commerce sellers, China (Shenzhen) International E-commerce Supply Chain Fair enables the sellers and manufacturers to connect with each other to find the most popular products with the highest cost performance. Nearly 100 cross-border eCommerce factories show up with thousands of new and unique products, and cross-border sellers select and purchase on-site. More than 500 exhibitors from Cross-border eCommerce Industrial ecosystem, including Amazon, eBay and other global famous platforms and emerging market e-commerce platforms, have joined the annual event of cross-border e-commerce industry.

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Thailand improves traceability of fruit exports to China 

Thailand improves traceability of fruit exports to China 

 

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce has signed a deal with CCIC Thailand to improve the traceability of Thai fruit exported to China, following a new traceability requirement for all imported farm products into China. CCIC Thailand, which is the local office of China’s largest quality assessment and traceability services provider, will help with legal procedures, as well as requests for health and hygiene certificates for certain fruit.

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Narongsak Puttapornmongkol said that Thai fruit products have often been subjected to lengthy customs clearances at China, but that the new service provided by CICC Thailand will help shorten this process to no longer than three days, as product information can be traced back from a scan of a QR code. It is hoped that this streamlined process will support Thailand’s fresh produce exports.

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Zespri accused of intimidating behaviour toward Kiwifruit NZ to secure China deal

Zespri accused of intimidating behaviour toward Kiwifruit NZ to secure China deal
Photo by Robertson from Stuff.co.nz

Zespri has been accused of attempting to pressurise industry regulator Kiwifruit NZ into “rubber-stamping” a contentious business deal in China, according to Stuff.co.nz. The accusation relates to a phone call described as “threatening” by Kiwifruit NZ’s chairperson, Kristy McDonald, following a rejection of Zespri’s proposed three-year trial at buying and branding 1.95 million trays of counterfeit SunGold kiwifruit grown in China on vines stolen from the company. 

In her reply, McDonald wrote: “Your comments that this is urgent, must be approved by Christmas and that we should not (you said ”must not”) use external expert advisers is remarkable. KNZ has not even considered the proposed activity yet you are most certainly getting well ahead of yourself in trying to control the outcome of a process that is not yours to control and has not even started. We will work as expeditiously as we can. What we will not do is bow to threats, bullying and intimidation.”

Asked for comment, Zespri Chairman Bruce Cameron said, “The letter was written following a discussion in November about the process we were going through as we sought regulatory approval to allow us to act on the plantings. I reject the way the conversation has been characterised but acknowledge the concerns raised by the Chair of KNZ. Zespri respects the critical role the regulator KNZ plays in the industry.”

Zespri has announced that it will reformulate its proposal and apply once again for approval.

 

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Rebounding Chinese economy to drive growth in citrus demand

Rebounding Chinese economy to drive growth in citrus demand
Photo: citrus of Mexico, exporter of the chinese market

China’s fresh citrus production and consumption are forecast to continue their upward trends in 2020/21, reaching 35.6 million tons and 34 million tons, respectively, according to FAS/Beijing data. However, the rate of production growth is expected to slow as prices drop and consumer demand reaches saturation point. Demand for imported citrus in 2020/21 is expected to remain low due to the economic downturn, down 25% overall from pre-COVID levels. There are also lower imports of frozen concentrate orange juice and production, indicating consumers’ changing preferences to juices made from fresh fruits. Chinese countermeasures for COVID-19 will continue to add complications and costs to all cold chain imports, including citrus.

Fresh orange imports are projected to grow slightly in 2020/21 to 290,000 tons, as the Chinese economy partially rebounds while local citrus supplies will depress import demand. Major suppliers remain Egypt, South Africa, Australia, the US, and Spain. China’s total imports of fresh oranges dropped dramatically in 2019/20, due to the sudden increase in freight costs and labour impacts of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, China’s orange imports had witnessed seven consecutive years of growth. Imports from all sources fell Egypt (-41%), South Africa (-15%), Australia (-37%), and Spain (-80%).

Meanwhile, China’s orange exports are expected to increase 5% y-o-y to 55,000 tons, thanks to restored logistics, the increased crop size, and rebounding economies. 2019/20 exports totalled 52,000 tons, with Vietnam accounting for 60% of the volume. Other export destinations for fresh Chinese oranges are the Philippines, Malaysia, Russia, Hong Kong, and Thailand.