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Chileans stand by Chinese partners during coronavirus outbreak

© Alexandra Sautois

 

Chilean Fruit Exports Association (Asoex) has offered support to China by offering to donate fresh fruits to the medical staff working to treat people affected by coronavirus. Containers filled with fresh Chilean produce sent to different ports across China had been held back due to the outbreak. With Chinese consumers turning to online markets to buy fresh produce, overall consumption has reduced. Shipping companies have been working to keep the containers in the market so as to increase availability of refrigerated storage.

In a statement issued by the organisation, Asoex president, Ronald Bown Fernandez, said: “It is complex, it requires constant monitoring as to how it evolves. We are relying on Chinese authorities to contain the virus, with the aim of returning to normalcy in the shortest period of time possible.” It’s unknown how long the current situation in China will last, with Asoex announcing it will work with the government to minimise the negative effectives by implementing a “specific campaign to promote the healthy attributes of fruit consumption”.

Around 265,000 tons of Chilean produce have been exported so far this season, with the main products being cherries, blueberries, table grapes, avocados, nectarines, plums, apples, and kiwifruit. This figure is up 27.7% from the same period last year.

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Higher potato production for China in 2016/17

In 2016/17, China’s fresh potato exports are forecast at 400,000 tons, up slightly on 2015/16’s 381,424 tons. Malaysia, Vietnam, and Russia are its top 3 export markets, accounting for over 65% of its total fresh potato exports in 2015/16.

China’s MY2016/17 fresh potato production is forecast to rise 3% to 100 million tons due to an expanded potato acreage and normal weather conditions in major producing areas, says the USDA in a new GAIN report.

The majority of China’s fresh potatoes are used for table consumption. Industry members estimate 60% of Chinese potatoes are consumed fresh in households and restaurants, while about 15% are used by the processing sector and about 10% for seed potatoes. Losses in storage account for as high as 15%.

The share of processing potatoes is expected to grow in the long term in China with increased development of potato products.

China’s top 3 potato export markets: Malaysia, Vietnam, Russia

China does not allow market access for fresh potato imports from any suppliers due to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) concerns. However, US government agencies are working with their Chinese counterparts to gain market access for US fresh potatoes for processing to China.

China’s exports of fresh potatoes have held steady at 300,000-450,000 tons annually since 2010/11, a negligible amount considering China annual production of about 100 million tons, the report says.

In 2016/17, China’s fresh potato exports are forecast at 400,000 tons, up slightly on 2015/16’s 381,424 tons. Malaysia, Vietnam and Russia are its top 3 export markets, accounting for over 65% of its total fresh potato exports in 2015/16.

Rising demand, production of frozen french fries (FFF)

China’s 2016/17 production of frozen french fries is forecast to rise 9% to 230,000 tons, driven by increasing domestic demand from quick serve restaurants and convenience stores.

China’s FFF imports for 2016/17 at expected to total about 160,000 tons, up 5% on the back of greater domestic demand. The US continues to dominate China’s FFF import market.

 

Source: China: Potatoes and Potato Products Annual, GAIN report CH16051 9/26/2016