According to Marcos Troyjo, foreign trade secretary at the Brazilian Economy Ministry, a new trade window is about to be opened between China and Brazil. The trade is expected to jump from last year's US$98.7 billion to US$105-110 billion.
During the BRICS Summit in Brasilia, a few weeks back, Brazil and China closed a melon trade deal. It is symbolic since it's the first-ever agreement between both sides involving fruit. China will export pears and import melons. On the Brazilian side, melon farm producers are excited about the new market prospects.
"Brazilian producers' expectations are the very best," said Jorge de Souza, project manager for the Brazilian Association of Producers and Exporters of Fruits and Derivatives (Abrafrutas). "The benefits will be mutual, because both parts will eat better, with more diversity and quality, contributing to both societies' well-being.”
According to Abrafrutas representative, there is a group of around 20 big producers in the north-eastern region that will probably be the export pioneers. The Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte is the greatest exporter of melon, selling to other countries 95,9 percent of all its melon production.
Even though there are still a few small operational details that need confirmation from the GACC (General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China), the association is confident that shipping will start at the beginning of December.
Jorge de Souza explained that Chinese importers are interested in buying melon during China's wintertime when local production is almost impossible. "We will start with a few samples of our products, a few containers so that we can understand local preferences for flavor and texture. Once we define those parameters, importers will outline the possible volumes. Our production capacity is suitable for planned growth, and it's within China's consumption expectation, which is bigger than Brazil's."