The General Administration of China’s Customs said on July 1 that fresh citrus from Zimbabwe that abides by bilateral phytosanitary regulations can be imported into China. Sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis), mandarins (Citrus reticulata), grapefruits (Citrus paradisi), lemons (Citrus limon), limes (Citrus aurantifolia), and bitter oranges are now all legal to import from Zimbabwe (Citrus aurantium).
The GACC and the Zimbabwean Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate, and Rural Development have issued a notice requiring all citrus orchards and packhouses exporting to China to be registered with the GACC. Fifteen different pests, such as fruit flies, mites, scale insects, and fungal infections, are listed in the protocols.
Chilling is required for any citrus from Zimbabwe shipped to China. For at least 18 days in a row, lemons must be stored in a cool place with a pulp temperature of 3 degrees Celsius. For at least 24 days, the pulp temperature of other types of citrus fruit must be kept at 0.6 degrees Celsius or lower. Pre-cooling is mandated by the procedures, and backup plans are in place in case the cold treatment time is interrupted.
Even though Zimbabwe gave the GACC data on pest risk assessment for fresh citrus as early as 2015, the procedures for exporting citrus from Zimbabwe to China were not signed by the two governments until January of this year.
In the summer, when China’s domestic citrus production is low, the country imports a lot of fruit from the Southern Hemisphere, particularly from Australia and South Africa. Given that Zimbabwe’s growing season overlaps with China’s off-season, local growers, shippers, and government officials are hopeful about the prospects for citrus exports to China.
Zimbabwe’s citrus fruit is China’s first officially sanctioned fresh fruit import.
Chinese consumers start to consumer fruit and imported fruit market start to be a good business for distributors and importers in China.
Fruits are currently one of the trendiest food in China. Lifestyles are changing and the Chinese care more and more about their health. Since wages increased with China’s economic growth, the Chinese are now looking for quality products.
And in China, excellence is often synonymous with imports.
The demand for imported fruits in China is increasing, with 5.5 million tons imported in 2018, a 35% increase from the previous year. As a side note, China actually imports more fruits than it sells, making this an unique and lucrative opportunity. Not only that, but the fact that fruit prices went up in 2017 and 2018 did not deter purchases by Chinese customers. What a remarkable circumstance, demonstrating the Chinese penchant for fruit. Some of the most popular foreign fruits among Chinese consumers are bananas, cherries, and grapes.
Since China’s domestic fruit production is insufficient to meet domestic demand, the country must rely on imports, which typically result in higher pricing for consumers. Chinese customers now have the disposable income to buy expensive imported fruits like lychees and kiwis.
Without a doubt, the recent COVID-19 problem hindered the import of fruits, but this trend is gradually recovering. However, producing and exporting to China is challenging for countries still under quarantine. But one bright spot is the widespread acclaim for imported oranges among locals. This is because domestic oranges fall short of customer demand, so the few that can still be brought in are treasured.
Exporting your fruit to China is a fantastic business opportunity, but you’ll need to figure out how to market and sell it there.
How GMA can help you?
- We can help you to identify distributors, and contact them.
- We also know the process of convincing these distributors to buy products from you.
- Contact us, we call you, explain the process, strategy and pricing, and you will know.