This week, Chile sent its first shipment with 23 tons of Orogrande clementines to China. The shipment is bound for the port of Shanghai. This is one of the first Chilean citrus fruits that will arrive in the Asian country, which opened its market last week.
The citrus industry was eagerly awaiting the sanitary opening. Juan Enrique Ortuzar, the president of the Asoex Citrus Committee, highlighted that this was the opening of a new market with great impact that will allow the diversifying markets for Chilean citrus, given that currently 80% of shipments are sent to their main destination, the US.
The Citrus Committee doesn't want to forecast how much volume it will export to this new market yet. However, it is possible that it will send a little less than 10% of the available volume there this season, according to Ortuzar. “The truth is that there is potential for all citrus fruits in this market, but it is difficult to make a forecast because it's a market that we are just going to start exploring and they are also just about to start getting acquainted with the Chilean product. We believe that the citrus fruits preferred by the Chinese consumer are oranges and mandarins,” the executive added.
Chinese citrus market
During the 2019 season, China imported almost 328,000 tons of citrus from the southern hemisphere, 51% corresponded to oranges, 36% to tangerines, 12% to grapefruits, and 1% to lemons. "This first season is going to be very important to get closer to customers and to make the characteristics and availability of our citrus known," Ortuzar said.
The Citrus Committee has a promotional campaign scheduled for this season and, even though they won't be able to carry out all of the scheduled activities due to the current health contingency, they will use the strength and reach of social networks and opinion leaders to reach consumers, importers, and the retail sector. "We will focus on highlighting the fruits' nutritional aspects, their high content of vitamin C, and antioxidant power. In addition to promoting their fresh consumption, we will also show how to incorporate the citrus fruits in various local recipes. In addition, we will take advantage of the opportunities that e-commerce offers,” Ortuzar concluded.
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Asoex Citrus Committee