© Réussir Fruits et Légumes
Thailand, the world’s seventh largest fruit exporter, has free trade agreements for exporting its fresh fruits to 18 countries. In the first two months of 2021, shipments to these countries rocketed by 107% y-o-y, reports Thailand’s National News Bureau. Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Oramon Sapthaweetham, said the total trade was worth US$461m, accounting for 94.9% of the country’s total fruit exports.
The products that have registered strongest growth are durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. The main destination markets are China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile.
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.
Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy © Irish Times
UK retailer Tesco has announced it will complete the £8 billion sale of its Thai and Malaysian business to CP Retail Development Company. The purchase was approved by Thai authorities last month and CP Group has now confirmed it is satisfied with the formal notice of approval. The deal should be formally completed by December 18th.
Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy said, “I would like to thank all our colleagues in Asia for their hard work and dedication to our customers over many years. They have built a very strong business. I’m confident that the agreement with CP Group will ensure that they are well setup for continued success. This sale allows us to focus on our businesses across Europe and to continue delivering for customers, make a significant contribution to our pension deficit and return value to shareholders.”
Tesco has sold off a series of overseas assets since 2014, including Homeplus in South Korea and the retailer’s Poland operations earlier this year. Tesco continues to operate stores in Central Europe across Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In its 25th anniversary year, the number of countries where the VOG Consortium’s famous brand is present is on the increase. Walter Pardatscher: “A major milestone that enables us to keep growing our global presence”.
(Bolzano, 10 September 2020) – Qatar, Thailand and the UAE. Marlene® apples will now be available in three new countries, a major milestone for the key brand of the VOG Consortium, founded in 1995, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
The first container of apples with the famous blue sticker left by sea on 21 August, with the others to follow in early September. “We’re proud and delighted to have added three more countries to our list this year, the 25th anniversary of the birth of Marlene®,” VOG Consortium Marketing Manager Hannes Tauber explains.
In its first 25 years, Marlene® has become widely known and popular in many countries, a favourite with retailers and final consumers alike. “The export markets are a priority focus for VOG, and it’s no coincidence that we export our 30 varieties to more than 65 countries right across the world,” Walter Pardatscher, CEO of the VOG Consortium, comments. “Last March we achieved a major milestone: the first Italian apples exported to Vietnam were our very own Pink Lady®. Now we are adding three more steps to the Marlene® brand’s progress. Our brand has reached over 25 countries in its 25-year lifetime: a result that fills us with pride and enthusiasm.”
“This news is a source of great satisfaction for the entire Italian apple-growing industry, because it reflects our production system’s efficiency and its ability to open out new frontiers,” comments Alessandro Dalpiaz, Director of the Assomela growers’ association. “We’re proud to see a quality international brand like Marlene® bringing Italian excellence to these new markets.”
The first three shipments, totalling 60,000 kg, or about 450,000 new-crop Marlene® Royal Gala apples, will reach their destinations after a 30-day sea voyage. “In Qatar, Thailand and the UAE alike, most of our apples will be sold through supermarket greengrocery departments: the feedback from our customers in the large-scale distribution market will be invaluable in this initial stage,” VOG Consortium Sales Manager Klaus Hölzl concludes. “However, a few pallets will also be sold through the three countries’ fruit and vegetable markets.”
© Eurofresh Distribution
Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion has organised a festival to be held across eight Chinese cities to promote Thai fruit imports. The Nation Thailand reports that the Thailand Fruit Golden Months Festival is targeting Chinese consumers as the country’s lockdown begins to ease. The festival will run from May to July in Shanghai, Qingdao, Nanning, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Xiamen and Kunming.
Somdet Susomboon, director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion, said, “The campaign aims to increase the export of durian, mangosteen, longan, coconut, mango, rose apple, pomelo and banana.”
The festival will be held online and offline with the support of retailers and local authorities. “For offline activities, sales booths will be set up at leading department stores in each city such as Hisense Plaza, Leader, Ole, Yuehui Plaza, Carrefour, Lotus and Parkson. As for online activities, the department and the local authority will jointly host the online business matching from May onwards to invite Chinese retailers to order Thai fruits online to sell in their stores as well as hold promotional campaigns with Chinese mobile applications such as Geso and Hema to increase sales,” said Susomboon.
Once their lockdowns end, similar promotional initiatives are scheduled for other markets such as Singapore, Myanmar and Laos.
Despite the ongoing disruptions to global trade, Thailand’s durian exports rose by over a quarter increased by over a quarter in the first three months of 2020 to US$264 million, according to data published by Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce. The main market by far is China, with shipments up 90% to US$176m. Indeed, China now accounts for almost 67% of all Thailand’s durian exports. Shipments to the US were also up 12% to US$2.1m. Meanwhile, the country’s exports to Asian neighbours Vietnam (-35%), Hong Kong (-11%) and Taiwan (-4%) all dropped, to US$47 million, US$42 million and US$839,400 respectively.
The remarkable growth in exports to China is largely the result of promotions conducted by Chinese retailers and the expansion of sales via online channels.
Thailand is the world’s largest producer of tropical fruits, with China its largest export destination. Thailand also imports large quantities of temperate fruits from China. Data from 2017 show that Thailand’s fruit production was worth US$3.3 billion, while total exports reached US$1.2 billion. Its main exported fruit products are durian (41%), longan (21%) and mangosteen (12%). Good transport networks have allowed a booming trade to develop between the two countries in recent years.
Thailand is also one of the world’s largest pineapple producers, accounting for one fifth of global production, exported as fresh fruit and canned goods. Thai pineapple is available all year round, growing best in sandy soil. In recent years, Thailand’s small pineapple has become very popular in China. Thailand is also the world’s largest producer and exporter of durian. Its major varieties are MonThong, KanYao, Kradum and Chani. Durian is a more pricey fruit with a high sugar content.
The most popular fruits exported to China from Thailand are durians, called the ‘king of fruit’; mangosteens, the ‘queen’, and longans.
“We have partner farmers and packing houses in various regions of Thailand, which is why we can ensure an almost year-round supply of fruit,” said Pakpum Bhagpabhakorn, director of PP Fruit, who participated in the China FVF expo in Beijing this year.
He explained that the longan season is from June to September in the north of the country, and from November to February in the east. The mangosteens are exported from April to September, while the durian is also available for 6 -7 months a year.
“Fruit from Thailand is highly appreciated all over the world,” Bhagpabhakorn said. “In the first place, our climate is very favourable for exotic fruit production. Also, we have been introducing modern technology and our farmers are very experienced. No wonder, then, that Thai fruit exports keep growing year in, year out.”
PP Fruit is part of the Thai fruit traders and exporters’ association, which promotes their premium fruit internationally. “Fruit export is our main business. We have long-term relationships with our clients from Hong Kong, Indonesia and other Asian countries; we began to export to China six years ago,” he said.
Image: Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)