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Malaysia Eyes China Market as Pineapple Exports Hit RM1.1 Billion

June 28, 2022

Malaysia’s export value of pineapples and pineapple products hit 1.1 billion ringgit ($250 million) in 2021, up more than 70% from 642 million ringgit ($146 million) in 2020, thus exceeding a government target of 1 billion ringgit ($227 million) in pineapple exports by 2025, according to Malaysian media reports. While Singapore is currently the main market for Malaysia’s pineapple exports, Malaysian Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah reportedly sees China as an important market for future growth, especially for fresh pineapples.

Despite its promise, China is currently not a major destination for fresh Malaysian pineapples. In 2015, the two countries reached a bilateral agreement on export protocols for sending fresh pineapples from Malaysia to China. In 2017, Malaysian pineapples began to be shipped to China by both air and sea, with a total import volume of 122 metric tons for the year. Subsequently, Malaysia’s pineapple exports to China reached a peak of 443 metric tons in 2019 and began to rebound last year after experiencing a sharp decline during the pandemic.

Overall, the Chinese market consumes a huge quantity of pineapples. According to customs data, China imports approximately 200,000 metric tons of pineapples every year, primarily as the fresh fruit. Previously, nearly 70% of these pineapples originated from the Philippines, while 20% came from Taiwan. Since March 2021, however, imports of pineapples from Taiwan to the mainland have been suspended, thus cutting off a major supply. Meanwhile, consumer demand for imported pineapples has only continued to rise.

In 2021, Malaysia’s pineapple production was approximately 525,097 metric tons, with a total planted area of 11,760 hectares. However, of the total planted area, only 30% is intended for export, while 70% is used to meet local demand.

Hamzah singled out MD2 as the pineapple variety best suited for growth of exports to China.

Image: Pixabay

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

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