RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Data recently released by the China Chamber of Commerce on the import and export of food, domestic products, and animal by-products show that China will import 7.03 million tons or US$13.47 billion of fruit in 2021, up 11.5% and 30.9% year-on-year, respectively.
Chile stands out in this segment as the main supplier of fruit to the Asian country, particularly cherries and table grapes, Produce Report reports.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on global trade, China’s fruit exports in 2021 decreased 8.3% year-on-year in volume and 14.9% in value, amounting to 3.55 million tons and US$5.43 billion, respectively.
According to the statistics, the highest-yielding fruit import categories remained similar to those in 2020. In descending order of import value, the top categories were fresh durians, fresh cherries, bananas, mangosteens, fresh longans, kiwis, table grapes, and fresh dragon fruit.
China’s top eight fruit suppliers, ranked by import value, were Thailand, Chile, Vietnam, the Philippines, New Zealand, Peru, Australia, and South Africa.
In the cherry segment, China had another record year in 2021, with total volume increasing 48.9% to 314,000 tons, while total value grew 20.0% to US$1.98 billion.
Chile is the main reason for these significant increases; the South American country exported 300,000 tons (+54.0% y-o-y) or US$1.87 billion (+24.1% y-o-y) of fresh cherries to China in 2021.
Imports of table grapes from China in 2021 totaled 95,000 tons (-22.3% year-on-year) with an import value of US$540 million (-16.7% year-on-year). The main source countries were Chile (US$180 million), Australia (US$160 million), Peru (US$140 million), and South Africa (US$30 million).
The top five fruit categories by export value were fresh apples, citrus (including mandarins and satsumas), fresh table grapes, fresh pears, and oranges.
The top 11 overseas markets by export value were Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the United States, Myanmar, Nepal, and Japan. China’s fruit exports to each of the above markets exceeded US$100 million in 2021.