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Trade in oranges and the Chinese New Year

Oranges: The good-luck fruit

The Chinese New Year celebrations have just been concluded. In Chinese traditions, oranges are a popular symbol of good luck and so they are displayed as decoration or exchanged as gifts among friends and acquaintances during the 16-day festival.

In 2016, China and Hong Kong were the fifth and the sixth largest importers of oranges. Together they imported 498,535 tonnes of oranges, valued at an estimated $514 million. This represented close to 10% of the total world import of oranges. The US, Australia and South Africa are the three biggest exporters to the Chinese markets.




So there is a real huge flow of oranges going into China each year. Is there still room for more? Apparently there is.

Intracen.org tells us that according to ITC’s Export Potential Map, the total untapped potential remaining in China and Hong Kong is around $330.1 million.

This suggests that other orange-producing countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Morocco could further grow their exports by targeting the Chinese markets, with a combined untapped potential of almost $14 million.

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