Chinese citrus for Europe

Chinese exporter building DC in Poland

While European exporters are eagerly looking at the enormous potential of the Chinese market, Henry Wang, manager of Jiutai Modern Agriculture, is looking towards Europe with a similar longing. The Chinese company successfully exported tangelos and pomelos to Poland, but it wants to expand this trade flow.

The DC in Poland.

“It’s important to also find export channels,” Henry says. “We started by exporting pomelos to Eastern European countries.” That flow of export has now been expanded with tangelos, a hybrid between tangerines and pomelos. The fresh and sweet citrus is popular with consumers in Eastern Europe. “Tasting is believing. If the flavour is good, consumers will buy the product,” Henry says.

Henry Wang en Michal Glijer van Jiutai Modern Agriculture.

Spanish competition?
Henry isn’t afraid of Spanish competition. “The Spanish citrus is more expensive than ours, and we meet all of the EU’s high quality requirements,” he says. In Europe, the bar is higher than in China. “Flavour is more important in China, but in Europe there are also certificates such as Global GAP.” In recent years, the EU’s standard has become stricter. “Some exporters have quit because of the higher quality requirements. We’re expecting to export more to Europe in coming years.”

Furthermore, he has noticed differences between the Chinese and European markets. “Price levels are different. In China, prices are higher. Lower prices are often seen in Eastern Europe, but the products are lower quality as well,” Henry says. “Western Europe requires the best quality, their prices are therefore higher.”

One Belt One Road
To further expand export to Europe, a packing station has been built in Poland. “Because we have our own stock in Europe it’s easier to supply when orders are received,” Henry explains. Transport to Europe is mainly done by sea. The investments of the Chinese government in mega-infrastructure project One Belt One Road, which connects China to Europe by means of a railway, among other things, offers perspectives.

“I hope we’ll one day be able to use the train connection, but for fruit and vegetables we need reefers,” Henry says. “Up till now only a few containers of fresh products were shipped to Europe by train.” The political situation between Russia and Europe also plays its part in that. Although the transit of fresh products via Russia on the way to EU is not allowed due to Russian embargo at present, exporters prefer the safe option of sea transport. Export to Poland is an option, “We have good contacts with a number of major Polish wholesalers such as Grupa Sad Export, and we have conducted tests with, for example, pomelos and apples.”

For more information:
Jiutai Modern Agriculture
Henry Wang
T: +86 591 8376 5275
M: +86 136 8503 3992

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