The Chinese health authorities have authorized the packers of the provinces of Elqui and Limari, in the Coquimbo region, to export citrus to China. "We have been working for almost two years to open the Chinese market for Chilean citrus. We have about 21,000 hectares planted and last year we exported 340,000 tons of citrus. We have worked hard with the Chinese government to enable the packers where these citrus fruits are processed and now the good news is that we are going to have a total of 45 packers were licenced in Chile for export,” stated the Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Walker.
The Chilean region of Coquimbo currently concentrates 43% of Chile's citrus exports, which rank second among the exported species with 29.2%. In addition, the export volume is expected to increase by 6% in the current season, when compared to 2019.
"We hope that a greater number of establishments can be authorized in the near future, as our region is recognized worldwide for the extensive experience it has in fresh fruit exports," stated the Seremi of Agriculture of the Coquimbo Region, Rodrigo Ordenes.
After the protocol that established the conditions of entry of Chilean oranges, lemons, clementines, mandarins, and grapefruits to the Asian giant was signed in December of last year, the start of exports is subject to a visit by the Chinese health authority to verify compliance with the measures indicated in the protocol. Said visit, which was going to take place in May, had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, Chile started negotiations with the Asian authority to find an alternative that would allow shipments to begin without this visit. China indicated that they would review the documentary information of fruit plants and orchards to evaluate the authorization of the start of shipments. In addition, they carried out remote supervision of citrus plants that were applying for export, an activity that took place last week, and that led 34 new establishments being authorized.