Egyptian citrus exports to China up by 30%

In the first half (H1) of 2016, Egypt's citrus exports to China increased by 30%, recording $24m, compared to $18.4m in 2015, according to plenipotentiary minister Mamdouh Salman, who is the Egyptian commissioner of the trade representation office in China’s capital Beijing.

The Chinese market has increased its consumption of Egyptian fruits and vegetables over recent years, which will allow Egypt to expand its exports over the coming years.

Chinese consumer demand for tropical and Mediterranean fruits has increased as they are gaining more interest and being introduced to new food habits.

Beijing’s imports of Egyptian agricultural crops are limited to citrus. More products are expected to be exported to China, including grapes and fodder beet.

Cairo’s trade representative office in Beijing puts a lot of effort into promoting agricultural crops, especially citrus, among importers.

Both countries are coordinating to send Chinese delegations to Egypt in order to visit the citrus farms, in an attempt to increase the amount that is exported.

Salman said that the two sides reached concrete results in exporting Egyptian grapes to the Chinese market, and a protocol is expected to be signed in the coming period for exporting grapes to China and Egyptian fodder beet to Beijing specifically.

He added that a number of Egyptian crops were specified to be examined after signing the grapes exporting protocol, such as strawberries, mangoes, beans, and onions.

In terms of the obstacles facing Egyptian exports to the Chinese market, Salman said that the most important one is the lack of information on the market. That is why the office is preparing detailed studies on the nature of the Chinese market and consumers’ tastes, as well as the procedures followed in Beijing. In addition to that, the customs duties imposed by China on the import of products and the specialised exhibitions held there are also included in the studies.

Salman said that the size of the commercial exchange between Egypt and China in H1 of 2016 registered roughly $5.7m, with a decline of 7.8% year–on-year (y-o-y).

The value of non-petroleum Egyptian exports declined by 5.5% y-o-y, registering $165m in H1 of 2016.

Chinese exports to Egypt registered $5.5m, with a decline of 1.5% y-o-y.

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