Fruit trade could be caught up in trade war

Peak bodies warn proposed tariffs on Chinese products could come back to bite US suppliers

Industry bodies in the US have raised concerns over what proposed tariffs on Chinese imports could mean for their own trade to the People’s Republic.

US President Donald Trump has suggested US$60bn in annual tariffs could be imposed on over 1,300 Chinese products bound for the North American nation. The move comes in retaliation to allegations of intellectual property theft and the desire to boost local employment in the US.

Speaking with the Yakima Herald, Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, asked what the outcomes would be for US fruit growers and exporters.

“The question is, how does China react?” Powers said. “For us, China is an important export market.”

China is the largest importer of cherries from Washington State, taking 3m cartons in 2017, while it is also a top five market for the state’s apple suppliers.

Should Trump’s proposal come to fruition, economic experts expect China to impose their own tariffs on US products. Fresh produce products would be a prime candidate for such action based on their contribution to the US economy, according to Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover, who was also interviewed by the Yakima Herald.

Fryhover said the apple industry was keen to avoid a repeat of a similar scenario in 2010, which saw Mexico impose a 20 per cent tariff on Washington apples following a dispute relating to trucking.

“We often see ourselves in the apple industry as being collateral damage,” Fryhover told the Yakima Herald.

China announces tariffs on US fruit

China has announced a proposed 15 per cent import duty on US fresh fruit and nuts in response to Trump's planned tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium

China has announced proposed tariffs on US goods worth US$3bn – including a 15 per cent duty on fresh fruit and nuts – in response to US levies on Chinese steel and aluminium imports, according to various reports.

US fruit categories affected by China's proposed tariffs include cherries, citrus, grapes, apples and pears (see full list below).

If the tariffs come to fruition, they could make trade difficult for US fruit exporters to China, pundits said.

China is the largest importer of cherries from the US state of Washington, taking 3m cartons in 2017, while it is also a top five market for the state's apple suppliers.

Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover told the Yakima Herald this week that the apple industry was keen to avoid a repeat of a similar scenario in 2010, which saw Mexico impose a 20 per cent tariff on Washington apples following a dispute over trucking.

China responded to news earlier this month of President Trump’s planned steel and aluminium tariffs by saying that, while it did not want a trade war, it was "absolutely not afraid" of one, the BBC said.

"If things get very nasty, they can make life very difficult for US companies doing business in China," Deborah Elms, executive director of the Asian Trade Centre in Singapore, told the BBC.

Fears of a trade war today pushed Asian stock markets down sharply, with shares also trading lower in Europe and the UK on the morning of Friday 23 March.

Trump's aluminium and steel import tariffs are a response to allegations of intellectual property theft by China, and a desire to boost local employment in the US.

The US president has railed against the US trade deficit of about US$375bn with China. He said he had asked the Asian country to cut that deficit by $100bn "immediately".

The list of US fruit and nut categories affected by China's proposed tariffs include: citrus (oranges, mandarins, clementines, tangelos etc, grapefruit, pomelo, lemon, limes); grapes; melons; papayas; apples; pears; quince; stonefruit (cherries, nectaries, peaches, plums); berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries); kiwifruit; durians; persimmons; pomegranates; dragonfruit; starfruit; lychees; sapota; custard apples; bore/jujube; starfruit; bananas; avocados; dates; figs; pineapples; guavas; coconuts; and several types of nut (brazil, cashew and others).

Source: Author: Luisa Cheshire

Australian fruit and nut exports to China up 500% in last four years

ANZ Future of Fresh reports that fruit and nut exports from Australia to China have increased by 500% in the last four years.

This report, which appeared in China this week, shows that the development of horticulture already shows great improvement. It has turned into an industry that is worth 10 billion Australian dollar [7.7 billion USD]. Furthermore, it is the fourth largest category of agricultural export products. The industry was only worth 3 billion Australian dollar [2.3 billion USD] in 2016.

Trends and figures show that the middle class has become a strong supporting community for the Australian fruit and nut industry. The consumers particularly favour almonds, macadamia, tropical fruit and stone fruit, and traditional apples and fresh grapes - and they are willing to pay for quality.

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Publication date: 3/19/2018
Author: SanderM Molenaar

Australia needs infrastructure for export

Insight from China could help the country reach its A$100bn agriculture goal by 2030

China does infrastructure better and more cost-efficiently than just about anybody, according to KPMG’s Asia business adviser, Doug Ferguson.

Ferguson believes that Australia has something to learn from this, and could improve our infrastructure plan to align with China’s Belt and Road program, fostering trade.

The Land reported that successful regional hubs like Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport in Queensland offer considerable opportunities to service direct exports of perishable fresh produce to markets in Asia and elsewhere.

The National Farmer’s Federation has a goal to lift the value of farm production in Australia to A$100bn by 2030. Ferguson believes this is “unattainable” unless the country takes an assertive approach.

Building better regional transport, strong water infrastructure and international airport hubs are just some ways that Ferguson believes Australia could improve.

Australia’s current inland rail project offers considerable opportunity to transport produce to airport hubs. “If an airport already exists, these aren’t big ticket projects,” said Ferguson.

“You’d only need A$50 million to A$100m (each) to get these facilities handling product from various food production zones around the country.”

According to The Land simply sealing rural roads could cut transport costs by around 24 per cent.


Author: Camellia Aebischer

China's Import volume of fruit & nut increased by more than 40%

The large database of ASKCI shows the following: the overall import volume of fruit and nuts throughout China in 2017 was 4.51 million tons. This adds up to an increase of 11.1%. The overall import value in 2017 was 6.2 billion USD. The import volume of fruit and nuts in China showed growth in every single month of 2017.

The newest data show that the import volume of fresh and dried fruits and nuts in February 2018 was 430 thousand tons, which is an increase of 43% in comparison with February 2017. The accumulated import volume of fresh and dried fruits and nuts in China in January and February was 932 thousand tons, which is an accumulated growth of 22.6%.

The import value of fresh and dried fruits and nuts in February was 751.5 million USD, which is an increase of 102% in comparison with February 2017. The accumulated import value of fresh and dried fruit and nuts in January and February was 1.84 billion USD, which is an accumulated growth of 63.8%.

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Publication date: 3/12/2018

China: First batch of Australian peaches arrive in Shandong

According to the official website of the Shandong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, the first cargo aircraft with 1,300 kg of Australian fresh peaches on board arrived at Qingdao Airport a few days ago. This special cargo port of Qingdao Airport has been open in January 2018. Since then, the Australian peaches are the 3rd shipment of high-end fruits.

China Inspection and Quarantine Bureau officer examines nectarines

Qingdao Airport has the biggest port for fruit import in Shandong Province. Up to now, there have been five batches of fruits imported through Qingdao Airport, with a total weight of more than 6 tons and a value of nearly 100,000 US dollars.

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Publication date: 3/14/2018

Fruitday launches supply chain service

Chinese fresh food e-tailer provides supply chain solutions to fresh fruit companies

As demand for supply chain services continues to grow in China’s fresh fruit trade, Freshbridge, a new supply chain company dedicated to the industry, was recently established in Shanghai. One of the companies behind the new business is Fruitday, a leading Chinese fresh food e-tailer.

“As a leader and pioneer in China’s fresh fruit e-commerce sector, we have a deep understanding of the market,” said Loren Zhao, Fruitday co-founder, who also will be heading the new company. “We believe the future of fruit trading will rely on the integration of information, logistics and capital flow.”

Freshbridge aims to bring such integration through its wide range of supply chain solutions, which include sorting, packaging, ripening and deep processing, as well as wholesale, storage and logistics services. The company is positioning itself as the bridge that links growers, marketers and retailers online and offline, bringing them closer together than ever before.

According to the company, Freshbridge has recently formed a strategic partnership with Shanghai Longwu Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market. The two parties will work together in import, customs clearance, repackaging, storage, trade and logistics, and hope to become a one-stop solution provider for fresh fruit businesses.

iFresh expo - 2018

iFresh Expo to be held on 13th-15th Nov 2018 in Shanghai New International Expo Centre.It will be held together with FHC, 22th Shanghai International Food and Beverage Exhibition, the exhibition areas will exceed 110,000 square meters, the professional visitors expected to reach 100,000.


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Chinese consumers like large, dark colored cherries

In recent years the diet of the Chinese consumer has quietly changed. More and more people choose organic and imported food. They even choose these products as gifts for family and friends. "Chinese people like cherries to be purple and turning darker. They think that the darker the cherry, the better it is; and the larger the cherry, the better it is. Chileans, however, prefer the cheaper, smaller cherries," said Hernan Garces, the chairman of the board and president of Agricola Garces, the largest cherry producer and exporter in Chile. "The cherry that meets all the requirements of Chinese consumers will have a long, dark green stem. It will have a high sugar content and firm fruit flesh. Its color will be between 'red brown' and 'dark brown'. And the fruit will measure between 28 mm and 30 mm in diameter."

"We have established an office in Shanghai, so we can be close to our customers. Our e-commerce business is developing at a rapid pace and creates a snowball effect. We have to plant cherries with even higher quality, even larger diameters, and even darker colors, because that is what the Chinese consumer desires," said Hernan Garces.

Chile is the largest supplier of fresh fruit to China. It is also the number one supplier of cherries for Chinese import. According to statistical data from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association the cherry export volume from Chile to China increased greatly between the cherry seasons of 2017 and 2018. It already exceeds 125 thousand tons, which is a historical record. Chairman of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, Ronald Bown, said that 83.75% of this year's Chilean cherry production will go to China.

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Publication date: 2/21/2018

China's cherry imports increase 13% on last year

The Chinese import of cherries has increased hugely as a result of a worldwide increase in cherry production volumes and an increase of living standards in China. The season in which cherries from the southern hemisphere mature fortunately coincides with the Chinese Spring Festival. In recent years the imported cherries from Chile, New Zealand, and Australia have become fine-quality products that many Chinese give as seasonal gifts or enjoy for themselves.

Shanghai is one of China's most important ports for the import of cherries. The cherries allowed to access China mainly come from the United States, Chile, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. Statistical reports from the Shanghai Office for Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine show that Shanghai port imported nearly 30 thousand tons of cherries.

Although each individual country has reduced cherry production, the overall import volume of China still increased with 13.1% compared to the previous year. Between November and December 2017, Shanghai imported 3,000 tons of air freighted cherries, which is an increase of 20% compared to the same period in the previous year and set a historical record.

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Publication date: 2/14/2018

ATGA CEO expects “very good year” for Aussie table grapes

The head of the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) claims reports of administrative hold-ups for China-bound shipments were blown out of proportion last month, and that exporters were given registrations in time to send some containers in time for Chinese New Year (CNY) festivities.

ATGA CEO Jeff Scott tells Fresh Fruit Portal that 90% of Australia’s table grape export season involves sales after these celebrations, but this year has been unique with earlier fruit ripening and a later CNY on Feb. 16.

“I have to say AQSIQ (China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) were very good because when they got advice that we would like the [registered exporter] list up very quickly, it went up probably earlier than what had happened in previous years,” says Scott.

“There was no delay or anything like that; it was just pure administrative work like what happens every year,” he says, clarifying the list was published more than two weeks ago.

“Everyone was hoping to get three or four containers across to China in time – everyone likes to do that because that’s the market we’d like to access, but timing-wise we know we can’t really do it that often. It’s a one-off situation that might come around in another four or six years.”

More recently, Scott and his colleagues along with Austrade and Hort Innovation have been busy with association seminars in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka) and South Korea (Seoul).

“Just about every major importer, distributor and retailer was there in attendance,” he says.

“I gave a major presentation on the industry, what the upcoming season was going to be like, innovation and marketing that the industry is going to take for Japan and Korea, and then afterwards there was networking.

“We only had half a dozen exporters there because the season is starting, but everyone in attendance couldn’t have been happier.”

He says the industry is also looking at doing promotions in South East Asian countries like Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, while potentially doing more association-level seminars to benefit importers in different markets in the future.

He emphasizes 2018 is looking to be a “very good year” for the Australian table grape sector.

“The crop is not large in size, it’s a normal crop. Everyone is saying that the sugar is very much on the high levels.

“The brix [sweetness measure] has come on early and they’re very strong – the size, the color, the formation of the bunches and so on. Everyone is saying it’s one of the best years they’ve ever had, particularly some of our main varieties such as Thompson Seedless and Crimson.

“The color in Crimson looks very uniform and good at this stage so everyone is looking for a very good year,” he says,

He adds the hot weather experienced in Australia this summer hasn’t had any major impact on the grapes.

“If anything it brings on their maturity a lot sooner than normal,” he says.

“Because it’s Australia and we have covers to protect our Thompsons from sunburn, the heat won’t have that much of an impact if at all.

“There’s just more maturity on Crimsons than what we would have expected but not by much, maybe a week or so.”

First air freighted Australian honey peaches land in Beijing

On January 29th, 2018, the first shipment of Australian honey peaches was air freighted to Beijing and transported directly to the Xinfadi market in Beijing. The exporter was Royal Fresh International, and the importer was Beijing Jinsanfu International Trading Co., Ltd. The individual boxes of Australian honey peach weighed 4 kg. There were altogether 780 boxes. Most of them contained 16 to 18 peaches, and the smallest amount was still 12 to 14 peaches in a box.

The production season of Australian honey peaches generally starts in November and draws to an end in March of the subsequent year. The actual circumstances depend on differences between individual production areas and weather conditions. Mainland China has officially started to import honey peaches, apricots, and plums, just as the Australian summer production season of stone fruit is at its height. This is an excellent business opportunity, whether for Royal Fresh export of cherries, nectarines, honey peaches, plums, and Western plums, or for Chinese importers who have a strong desire to purchase fresh fruit.

This shipment of Australian honey peaches was imported under the brand "Top Crop". Top Crop is a fruit orchard in Victoria that has cooperated with Royal Fresh for many years. This orchard also supplies superior grade nectarines in relatively large volumes. Retailers who import fruit to China welcome the small peak season in the approach to Chinese Spring Festival. Royal Fresh takes this opportunity to export more fruit to China, and provide the consumers with a wider variety from which to choose.


Royal Fresh International Pty Ltd

David Yang

Bai Guang Lan, sales manager
Beijing King Sanfu International Trade Co. Ltd

Publication date: 1/31/2018