A freight train loaded with 44 carriages of walnuts on Wednesday departed Urumqi, capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and is expected to arrive at the Turkish port of Mersin in 18 to 20 days.
The exported walnuts, weighing more than 984 tonnes, were all harvested in southern Xinjiang, including prefectures of Hotan, Kashgar and Aksu, according to Xinjiang Fruit Group Co., Ltd.
Xinjiang boasts a large yield of walnuts with excellent quality and stable price. However, Xinjiang walnuts were too scattered in the past to meet the demand for export on a large scale to Europe, where countries like Turkey and Russia have high demand, according to Zhai Kaiyuan, head of Xinjiang agricultural and sideline products trading center.
Since May 2018, Xinjiang has rolled out a strategy to purchase agricultural products in the region and bolster exports.
Transport of agricultural produce has also been upgraded. Exporting the walnuts by the China-Europe freight train can reduce delivery time and lower risks and costs.
Xinhuanet.com reported that the second Xinjiang walnuts train is expected to depart for Turkey in January next year.