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Cambodia Eyes Dragon Fruit Exports to China

May 18, 2021

The Cambodia Daily reports that Cambodia has begun assessing the viability of investing in dragon fruit exports to China. Dragon fruit may thus soon follow bananas and mangos to become the third Cambodian fruit exported to China.

According to China Customs statistics, China’s fruit imports surpassed $10 billion for the first time in 2020. The import value of dragon fruit reached $550 million that year, ranking sixth behind durians, cherries, bananas, mangosteens and fresh grapes. The import value of dragon fruit also grew by 53% compared to the previous year, the largest year-on-year increase of any fruit, while the import volume rose by 42%. Currently, approximately 80% of Vietnam’s domestically grown dragon fruit is sold to China. By and large, China’s market for dragon fruit imports is dominated by Vietnam.

China and Cambodia will reportedly prioritize talks about fruit exports to China, including those of dragon fruit, longans and coconuts. Cambodia has preemptively begun making preparations to supply dragon fruit to China. In May 2020, Yang Saing Koma, the founder of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, launched a dragon fruit tree planting project in which Koma and partners in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province set up 1,000 hectares of farmland to plant 1 million dragon fruit trees in order to supply the export market. They also have plans to establish a processing plant, with their main targets for export being China and Vietnam.

On May 7, the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held a ceremony to celebrate Cambodia’s inaugural shipment of mangos to China. The Khmer Times reported that the first shipment of mangos totaled 100 metric tons and was sourced from five packaging plants registered with China’s General Administration of Customs. Although Cambodia’s first shipment of mangos to China only just arrived, Cambodia already appears eager to begin assessing the viability of investing in dragon fruit exports to China as well. It appears that fruit exports have further opened Cambodia’s eyes to the Chinese market.

Cambodian growers experienced their first taste of the Chinese market when they exported bananas to China for the first time in May 2019. Exports that year reached 130,000 metric tons. In just one year, Cambodia soared to become China’s third largest banana supplier, behind only the Philippines and Vietnam. In 2020, bananas from Cambodia accounted for 13.8% of China’s banana market share, with a total export volume of approximately 240,000 metric tons.

In April of this year, Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce also indicated that it was making preparations to establish at least five new trade liaison offices in China, bringing the total number of offices to 11. This move will likely boost exports of Cambodian goods to China.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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