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China Opens Its Market for Uruguayan Citrus and Blueberries

August 30, 2016

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) recently announced that qualifying Uruguayan citrus and blueberries will now be allowed to enter China. On August 3, Mr. Li Jianwei, Director of the Animal and Plant Division of AQSIQ, met with Mr. Fernando Lugris, Ambassador of the Uruguayan Embassy in Beijing, to discuss the entry of Uruguayan citrus and blueberries to China. After the meeting, both protocols were signed to grant the official import permission.

Citrus plays a significant role in Uruguayan fruit exports, representing 80% of the entire trade. Approximately 100,000 tons of citrus worth 90 million USD are exported. Uruguay used to rank second among the Latin American countries for citrus exports, although the volumes have recently been limited due to the impact of El Nino.

Europe is the major destination for Uruguayan citrus. However, Uruguayan citrus has suffered from severe interceptions on the European market due to citrus black spot. To make up for its diminishing share in Europe, Uruguay has spared no effort in seeking alternative markets and has been engaged in close discussions with Mexico, India, the Philippines, and Indonesia regarding market entry. Uruguay has also sought the reopening of the Chinese market after its closure in 2012 over fruit fly issues.

According to Uruguayan authorities, black spot disease is now under control and they are generally optimistic about this season, despite some delay in the start of various harvests because of El Nino. It is estimated that production will exceed the previous year in terms of both volume and quality. Newly planted varieties including Murcott, Tango, Orr, and Orri are also very popular with Asian consumers.

On the other hand, the blueberry industry is growing fast in Uruguay. As one of the top ten blueberry exporters, Uruguay happens to fill the gap before Peru reaches its peak season.

Image source: pixabay

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