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Cambodian Pailin Longan Exports to China Saw Explosive Growth in 2023

January 21, 2024

According to the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, last year’s exports of fresh Pailin longans to China reached 17,000 metric tons, representing a 454% increase compared with 2022. This surge in exports occurred despite growers experiencing challenges with the weather as well as limited water in some areas, which led to an unexceptional output and some quality issues.

Suos Siyat, president of the Pailin Longan Agricultural Production Cooperative, noted that the drop in fruit quality had caused market prices to fall. He added that under normal conditions, Pailin longan prices vary depending on the harvest period, which influences the quality of the fruit. Farmers earn an average of 3,300–3,500 Cambodian riel ($0.81–0.86) per kilogram for fruit harvested from August to December, while from January to March, the price typically rises to 4,000 riel ($0.98) per kilogram.

Exporters of Pailin longans reported smooth shipments to China. They did, however, observe that purchases had been declining lately. According to Sar Chamroeun, a representative of China Jinkwoayuan Import Export (Cambodia) Co. Ltd., the company is willing to buy more fruit from farmers if their yield increases, but only if the fruit is of high quality. The company has reportedly been able to ship over 1,000 metric tons of longans to China since July of last year, despite the decline in fruit quality.

In addition to the quality issue, logistical challenges have continued to affect exports. Cambodian longans are exported to China primarily by sea, but freight charges for containers departing from the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port remain relatively high. It has previously been suggested that exporting through Vietnamese or Thai ports could markedly decrease shipping costs, although Cambodian longans are currently not allowed to be exported via Thai ports because Thailand also exports longans to China.

According to Chamroeun, Pailin longans, which are named after the Cambodian province of Pailin where they are commonly grown, have become popular among Chinese consumers since exports began in November 2022. He reported that his company also purchases longans from the neighboring provinces of Battambang and Banteay Meanchey, but they cannot compare to the Pailin-grown fruit in terms of flavor and appearance.

Statistics from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries show that Pailin longans are currently grown on an area of 13,608 hectares countrywide, primarily in the provinces of Battambang, Pailin and Banteay Meanchey. The harvested area totals approximately 8,000 hectares, with each hectare yielding between 15 and 20 metric tons of fruit annually. Despite having secured access to the lucrative Chinese market, the sector did not see a marked expansion of the longan cultivation area in 2023.

Image: Pixabay

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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