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Uruguayan Lemons Approved for Import Into China

December 10, 2023

On Nov. 29, the General Administration of Customs of China issued an announcement via its website stating that fresh Uruguayan lemons meeting the stipulated phytosanitary requirements would be permissible for import. As early as 2017, the GACC granted market access to other Uruguayan citrus fruits, with the exception of lemons. Following this latest announcement, all categories of citrus fruits from Uruguay are now allowed to enter China.

At present, Uruguay boasts a citrus cultivation area of approximately 15,000 hectares, which is primarily concentrated on the north bank of the Uruguay River and various provinces in the south of the country, with a total annual production of 271,000 metric tons. In terms of citrus categories, oranges take the lead, accounting for 40% of overall production, closely followed by mandarins and tangerines at 35.5% and lemons at 23.5%, with grapefruit and other items making up the remaining 1%. Uruguay is Latin America’s second-largest citrus exporter, with approximately 45% of the country’s total production destined for overseas markets.

Uruguayan citrus fruits are primarily exported to Europe, Asia, the United States, Brazil and Canada. Because of Uruguay’s location in the Southern Hemisphere, the country is able to offer counterseasonal citrus fruits to the Chinese market. Lemons are available from early May to November, while oranges are in supply from late May to late November. Mandarins, tangerines, grapefruit, and other citrus items are on the market from March to late October.

According to the GACC announcement for Uruguayan citrus fruits, China has identified a total of seven quarantine pests of concern. These include the South American fruit fly (Anastrepha fraterculus), Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), Fuller rose beetle (Pantomorus cervinus), passionvine mealybug (Planococcus minor), a fungal plant pathogen (Elsinoë australis), and two species of scale insects (Ceroplastes rusci and Coccus perlatus). Orchards intending to export fresh citrus fruits to China must adhere to good agricultural practices and integrated pest management techniques.

The announcement specifies that citrus fruits bound for China must either originate from growing regions free from Mediterranean and South American fruit flies or undergo cold treatment during transportation to eliminate any larvae. Approved cold treatment regimens for oranges, mandarins, tangerines, grapefruits and other types of citrus fruits include maintaining a temperature of 1.11 degrees Celsius or below for at least 15 consecutive days, 1.67 degrees Celsius or below for at least 17 consecutive days, or 2.22 degrees Celsius or below for at least 21 consecutive days. Lemons require cold treatment at a temperature of 3 degrees Celsius or below for at least 24 days.

Image: Pixabay

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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