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Hortgro and Joy Wing Mau Team Up To Promote South African Apples and Pears in China

May 29, 2023

On May 26, South Africa’s apple and pear industry association, Hortgro Pome, teamed up with leading Chinese fruit company Joy Wing Mau Fruit Technologies Group to stage a launch ceremony for the 2023 South African apple and pear season at Guangzhou’s Jiangnonghui Market (the imported fruit section of the Jiangnan Wholesale Fruit Market). The guests present at the ceremony included Molatelo Mamadi, agriculture counselor at the South African Embassy in Beijing; Xuan Yabao, distribution channels manager for Southern China at Joy Wing Mau; and Ye Xiaobao, commercial manager of Joy Wing Mau’s international procurement platform.

Jacques du Preez, general manager for trade and markets at Hortgro Pome, delivered a speech at the event via video. He said that the South African apple and pear season is now in full swing with over 7,500 metric tons of apples already having been shipped to mainland China this year, adding that Hortgro Pome is honored to join hands with Joy Wing Mau to work together to promote these products in China. This partnership, du Preez believes, will help establish a good reputation for South African apples and pears, and he looks forward to further advancing the collaboration in the years to come.

According to statistics from Hortgro Pome, South African apple exports have grown by more than 13 times over the past five years. As of week 19 of 2023, South African apple exports to mainland China were up by 17% compared with the previous season. If the 3,672 metric tons of fresh apples exported to Hong Kong are included, this season’s export volume of South African apples to China has already exceeded 11,000 metric tons.

In terms of varieties, Fuji and Royal Gala/Gala remain the main varieties shipped to the Chinese market, accounting for 82.9% of the total export volume to China during the period covered by the statistics. Meanwhile, the new variety Bigbucks is rapidly catching up and is highly preferred by Chinese consumers because of several appealing features, including a deep red color, high sugar content and low acidity. The data also confirm the popularity of this variety, with the export volume to China registering a significant 104% increase this season.

Alongside the good performance of South African apples in China, the country’s pears are also showing enormous potential. During the period covered by the statistics, a total of approximately 13,700 cartons or 1,711 metric tons of South African pears arrived in China. Of this total volume, over 985 metric tons or over 57% were Forelle pears, followed by the early-season varieties Cheeky and Packham’s Triumph. South Africa offers a wide selection of apple and pear cultivars with a diverse range of appearances and flavors. South African pears made their debut in China in September of last year, so this year marks their first full marketing season in China. At least seven varieties of pears from South Africa will be available in China in 2023, offering more choices for fruit dealers and consumers.

Earlier this year, key apple and pear producing regions in South Africa were hit by hailstorms, causing Hortgro Pome to reduce its estimated export volumes for this season. Specifically, the export volume of Fuji apples is anticipated to decrease by 12%, while the overall export volume for the season is forecast to see a 10% reduction. This limited supply is expected to strengthen the demand for Fuji apples on the market.

In recent years, exports of South African apples to China have been steadily increasing, demonstrating that the fruit is starting to gain a firm foothold on the Chinese market. According to statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs, South Africa became the second-largest apple supplier to China in 2021. The following year, China’s imports of South African apples surpassed one million cartons for the first time. The harvest season for South African apples is now drawing to a close, and from June onwards, South African apple exports are expected to reach their peak. Meanwhile, the export season for South African pears will last until November. With the gradual growth of exports to China, Chinese consumers can look forward to enjoying more high-quality fresh apples and pears during the summer.

Images: Joy Wing Mau Fruit Technologies Group

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

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