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Costa Rica: Increased production necessary to supply Chinese market

“Even though China has a large domestic pineapple production, especially in Southern China, it is an interesting export destination for Costa Rica. The Chinese variety is very different in color and taste compared to our MD2 golden pineapple. Costa Rica has exported pineapples to Asian countries, such as Japan and South Korea for a few years. But the first Costa Rican pineapples were exported to China only in June of this year”, states Jose Pablo Rodriguez the commercial Director for Asia from Procomer, the export promotion agency of Costa Rica.

Costa Rican pineapples face competition in the Chinese market from the Philippine supply. “Nonetheless, this is not our main concern. Our challenge is the increase in production, which is necessary to have sufficient supply. At this moment the export is balanced between the United States and Europe. The demand is there and prices are high, so exporters need their production for the existing markets. If production increases, more volumes will be available for the Asian and Chinese market. Besides extending our production surface, we also improve technology to establish a more efficient production.”

According to Jose, the exports leave the country from the Caldera port and are exported to Shanghai with a transit time of 25-28 days. “This results in a relatively short shelf life in the Chinese market. However, the first batch of pineapples that arrived were of better quality than expected. Yet, there is still a lot to develop and improve. It took years to enter the Chinese market, but now 27 companies are allowed to export their pineapples.”

Procomer focuses on pineapples at the moment, however, other products are on the list to enter the Chinese market. “To gain market access for a certain product, each requires a separate protocol. We have asked for market access for our melons as well, however this may take years before it's actually approved. Cantaloupe melons are exported to Asia already, for example to Japan. We offer melons from January to May, which is their counterseason,” concludes Jose.

For more information:
Jose Pablo Rodriguez
Shanghai, China
T: 8621 6103 7298

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