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Gansu’s Apple Export Surge Led by Vietnamese Demand
Investments by the apple industry in China’s Gansu province aimed at boosting the quality and volume of its apple exports to international markets are paying off, according to official trade statistics for the first two months of the year.
During January and February, Gansu province exported 15,000 metric tons of fresh apples worth 130 million Chinese yuan ($18.9 million), year-on-year increases of 50% and 79%, respectively. This volume accounted for 12.6% of China’s total fresh apple exports during the period.
If the trend continues during the 2023 harvest season and throughout the calendar year, it will represent a significantly increased share of China’s apple exports for Gansu. Although Gansu has historically been China’s third-largest apple exporting province, its export volumes have been dwarfed by Shandong province and, to a lesser degree, Yunnan province. In 2021, for example, Gansu accounted for approximately 5% of China’s apple exports, while Shandong and Yunnan accounted for about 61% and 17%, respectively.
Vietnam is the fastest growing market for Gansu’s apples. In the first two months of this year, Gansu exported 6,141 metric tons of fresh apples to Vietnam with a value of 58.2 million yuan ($8.46 million) — year-on-year increases of 5.2 times and 7.3 times, respectively. According to one exporter, Vietnamese demand for apples from Gansu is so high that the backlog for order fulfillment is now stretching into May. Others among the 25 international markets that Gansu exports apples to include Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal and Singapore.
Gansu’s apple industry is centered around Jingning County, located in the southeastern corner of the long and narrow province. More than 66,000 hectares of apple orchards have been planted in Jingning with the support of various government bodies, including China’s Ministry of Commerce. Apples now account for about 30% of the total value of Gansu’s agricultural exports.
As part of a bid to build up a name for the product internationally, “Jingning Apple” has recently been registered as an international trademark. The Jingning apple industry is reportedly eyeing exports to the European Union.
“Jingning apples are favored by domestic and foreign customers for their rich fruit flavor, with a good balance of sweet and sour and a long shelf life,” said Zhang Yeli, part of the international sales department of Jingning County Shengyuan Fruit Industry Company. “This year, our company’s apple export orders are in strong demand, and the price has gone up.”
If the industry is successful in its quest and current trends continue, more and more consumers in markets around the world can look forward to trying China’s famed Jingning apples.
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