In 2013, China’s fruit export still focuses on apple, citrus and pear. With 35 nations/regions obtaining protocols from China AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine), more varieties of fruits have been imported to China. With zero tariffs between China and ASEAN nations, Pakistan, New Zealand, Chile, and Peru, imported fruits are very competitive pricewise. Top 10 imported fruits (in order of total import value) are: durian, grape, banana, cherry, mango, kiwi, citrus, plum, apple and watermelon. In 2013, the total value of imported fruits has gained a 10.6% increase. China has become a more and more attractive market.
The Apple Story: Export Market
In the year 2013, apple is still an export market. The total export volume reached 994,664 metric tons, with a 1.9% increase from 2012. However, the total value has seen a 7.2% increase, totaling $1.03 billion. The peak months are January, March, April, November and December, each month over 100 k tons. Asia and Europe are still the top two destinations. In terms of trade volume, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are the top three buyers of Chinese apples. In terms of trade value, the Philippines topped the list, with over $20 million, followed closely by Thailand over $19 million and Vietnam over $11 million. Another two buyers of Chinese apples catch people’s attention: India (about 35% increase in volume and 25% increase in value), and Malaysia (with 30% increase both in volume and value). The Russian commonwealth remains strong, but the buyers shift to low priced apples. Shandong province is the main apple growing region in China, and exported almost half of the total.
For import, a total of 38,724 tons of apples are imported to China, 37% decrease compared with 2012. The value is 67.61 million US dollars, a 26.8% decrease. In 2013, only apples from Argentina, Australia (Tasmania), France, and Japan can be exported to China. In 2013, Chile, NZ and USA apple protocols were temporarily frozen. This did not leave many choices for importers. In 2014, New Zealand’s ban has been removed in March 2014. It looks very positive that the bans on Chilean and US apples can be removed in 2014 as well.
Just like apple, apple juice export exceeds import. In 2012, China exported 750 k tons of concentrated apple juice, and in 2013 the volume decreased 1.7% to 601.5 k tons. In 2013 China imported 1811 tons of apple juice, with 75% increase compared with2012.The value decreased 20.7% from $1.14 billion to $0.907 billion. Apple juice from China mainly goes to the US, Germany, Japan, Russian Commonwealth, Chile and Argentina. The US bought half of the total. In 2013 the average price for exported apple juice is $1507.29 per ton.
Citrus: China Pays Higher Price for Imported Products
If we only look at the volume, China exported more citrus than import. However, the good news for sellers is the exported citrus averaged at $ 1155 per ton, but China paid $1618.8 per ton for imported citrus. At present, Argentina, Australia, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and US have protocols to export to China. US has been temporarily frozen in 2013 and the ban may be lifted in 2014, according to sources from AQSIQ. Citrus import in 2013 is 12,602 tons, increasing 53.6% from 2012.
A total of 773,365 tons of Chinese citrus was exported, mainly to other Asian nations. Malaysia is the #1 buyer. In 2013, Malaysia bought over 140 k tons, 46 % increase from the previous year. Malaysia paid $217 million, over 72%increase. Malaysia is followed by Thailand, over 62k tons (13% increase) and $106 million (50% increase). The third buyer is Vietnam. Price-wise, Malaysia paid an average of $1588.20 per ton, and Thailand $1714.80. After a 39.5% increase, citrus exported to Vietnam priced average at $685.3 per ton. Among European nations, Russia is the top buyer.
Major exporting provinces are Fujian, Guangxi, Shandong, Xinjiang and Yunnan.
Pear: Import Price Twice as Export
The top 10 Chinese pear destinations are (in turn of value): Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, the USA, Russian Commonwealth, Canada, the Philippines, and Singapore. Border trade takes about 18% of the total. Shandong and Hebei are the top two growing regions. In 2013, China exported 381,281 tons of pears, decreasing 6.9%. The total value of export is $361.75 million, increasing 11.3%. The average price is $948.80 per ton. Though China only imported 3,766 tons of pears, (a 51.9% increase), the average price for imported pear is $1,834.80 per ton. The total value of pear import in 2013 is $6.91 million, increasing 82.3%. Till December 2013, only. Argentina, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand and US have obtained the protocol from AQSIQ to export pears to China.
Grape: Export Price 9% of Import Price
Grape exporters to China had a great year. In 2013, they exported 205,301 tons (21.9% increase) to China, with a value of $55.23 million (29.8% increase). Though China exported 141,128 tons of grape, the average price is only $249.6 per ton. China paid $2,690 per ton for the imported grape. The price of exported grape is only 9% of the imported grapes. Chile and Peru, with opposite harvesting seasons, had a great year. At present, besides these two nations, Australia, New Zealand and US (California only ) have the grape protocols.
Other Fruits: A Tale of Success
Though kiwi originated in China, China depended a lot on importing. The past year, 48,243 tons of kiwi fruit had been shipped to China. The peak months are June and July. This fruit had become a year around necessity to Chinese consumers.
Chinese love cherries. Chile, Australia and New Zealand seasons are around the Chinese New Year. The wholesale market price reached $50 per kg (or $22.7 lb).
The most dramatic increases are from avocado and blueberry. In 2012, China imported $354,631. In 2013, the value soared to $2,374,273. This means a 569.5% increase. Blueberry increased from $4.5 billion to $15.6 million, a 240% increase. The success behind these two fruits are nutrition facts. They are not used in cooking. Chinese eat them raw just like eating an apple, but it is believed that these fruits are very nutritious.
In the year 2013, the export volume of fresh fruit, nuts, and citrus peel products decreased 2.9% to 3.187 million tons. The total value has increased 10.6% to $4.173 billion. The import volume decreased 4.5% to a total of 3.156 million tons. The import value has increased 7.7% to a total of $4.098 billion. With fresh and dried fruits and nuts combined, the top three destinations of Chinese products are Thailand, Chile and Vietnam. Thailand, Chile and Vietnam topped the list of sellers, followed by the Philippines, US, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, and Australia.
--Data from China Customs & Analyzed by China FVF