The Rural Development Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently published a report titled "China's Rural Development, Analysis and Predictions", which shows that China experienced a rare trade deficit in the import and export of fruit in 2018.
China imported 5.5 million tons of fruit in 2018. The import value reached 8.42 billion USD, which is a growth of 34.5% in comparison with 2017. The export value reached 7.16 billion USD in 2018, which is a growth of 1.2% in comparison with 2017. The trade deficit reached 1.26 billion USD in 2018.
Data from China's General Administration of Customs shows the following:
1. China mainly imported fruit from Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and Chile, in that order.
2. Cherries, durian, bananas, grapes, and oranges were the five fruits that contributed most to the import value of fresh fruit in 2018.
Chinese consumers have become more "selective" as a result of their rising income levels. China's agricultural industry is in the process of upgrading itself, but many agricultural products do not meet the new standards of Chinese consumers who can afford to purchase imported fruit instead. The volume of imported fruit is still growing.
Imported fruit competes with domestic fruit in the Chinese market. The Chinese fruit industry is working towards stronger brands and a higher product quality in response.