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First Quarter Data Reveals Mixed Results for Chinese Fruit Exports

May 25, 2017

Figures released by the Chinese National Chamber of Commerce reveals first quarter volume and value from fruit exports fell short of last year’s numbers.

The volume of Chinese fruit exports from January to March of this year reached 834,000 tons—2 percent behind what was achieved last year during the first quarter. Similarly, fruit exports reached value of USD 997,000,00 this quarter, falling short of last year’s numbers by 13 percent.

Southeast Asia remains China’s major importer of domestic fruit. In respect to export earnings, the top five countries are Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Below are specific figures for value, volume and percent change from the first quarter of 2016 for each country:

-Thailand: USD 156,000,000 (25% decrease); 92,000 tons (19% decrease)
-Vietnam: USD 145,000,000 (9% increase); 103,000 tons (12 % decrease)
-India: USD 92,000,000 (72% increase); 97,000 tons (109% increase)
-Indonesia: USD 88,000,000 (40% increase); 82,000 tons (53% increase)
-Malaysia: USD 77,000,000 (46% decrease); 53,000 tons (39% decrease)

The latter countries account for 53 percent of China’s total fruit exports.

Apples, citruses, pears, oranges and grapes comprised 82 percent of total fruit exports. The following list details first quarter data for these five fruit groups.

-Apples: USD 400,000,000 (4% decrease)
-Citruses: USD 220,000,000
-Pears: USD 110,000,000 (10 increase)
-Oranges: USD 45,000,000 (15% decrease)
-Grapes: USD 41,000,000 (7% increase)

China’s domestic apple harvest supplies international markets with high-quality apples at low prices. According to statistical data, apples are China’s largest fruit export by volume, reaching 410,000 tons during the first quarter. At nearly USD 975 per ton, the price of apples during the first quarter was 12% less than last year. The top five importers of Chinese apples, which together comprise 55 percent of China’s total apple exports, are India, Thailand, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines. Foreign buyers have acknowledged China’s headway in ecological planting modes and fruit quality. Chinese apples have fashioned a clear advantage in Southeast Asian markets.

Pears are China’s second fruit export giant. During the first quarter, pears accomplished volume and value increases. Between January and March, pear export volume increased by 18 percent, exporting 125,000 tons of pears at USD 969 per ton. The three largest pear exporting provinces during the first quarter were Hebei (47,000 tons, 63% increase), Shandong (24,000 tons, 7% increase), and Guangxi (16,000 tons, 10% decrease). These regions contributed 70% of total pear exports during this period.

Although first quarter data for Chinese fruit exports are mixed, it is clear that China is gaining competitiveness, especially with fresh fruit and produce, in international markets. Nonetheless, apples continue to dominate exports by volume and Southeast Asia remains the major importer of Chinese fruits.


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