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Costa Rica: Opening of Chinese market for pineapple exports

After several years of negotiations between Costa Rica and the Asian country, finally all protocols are in place and pineapple shipments by air will soon begin. Although Costa Rica has been exporting its pineapples for more than 20 years, specifically the MD2 variety in recent years, it is still a product whose characteristics are rather unknown amongst Chinese consumers.

"There are Chinese TV programs that have travelled to Costa Rica to gather information and images, as they are trying to teach consumers that although the colour of the pineapple is green, this doesn't mean that it is unripe," explains Astrid Antillón, commercial manager of the company Best Fresh Fruits.

The first recorded data on pineapple imports in China between 2014 and 2015 indicate that the volume has increased by 64%, with a growing trend in consecutive years. It was in 2015 when all protocols were considered to be agreed and signed, and also when Costa Rica started to consider the Asian country as its next new market.

"So far, China was only familiar with the pineapple grown in south east Asia: the mini pineapple," explains Antillón. However, this fruit does not have exactly the same characteristics as the Costa Rican pineapple. To this you must add the price difference, since the shipment is carried out by air directly from Costa Rica and "this increases the final price. We estimate that the box costs between 11 and 12 dollars, although we know that Chinese consumers know what they want and appreciate the value of the products."

The opening of this new market will result in a reduction of the supply of pineapples of Costa Rican origin. Although the Chinese market has just opened to this product, the volumes demanded are already considerable. "There are companies that are receiving orders for 40 containers a week; the Chinese market is simply much bigger than we are used to," explains Antillón. To date, according to data provided by Best Fresh Fruits, perhaps only two exporters in Costa Rica are able to supply what the Chinese customers demand.

For more information:
Astrid Antillón 
Best Fresh Fruits BV
Tel.: +31 204055357

Publication date: 9/7/2017
Author: Mara Aguilera
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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