High quality, low prices and increasing overseas orders have resulted in a surge of lemon exports from Anyue County, dubbed China's "lemon capital". Data point to this surge in the period from September 2019 to August 2020.
The export volume of Anyue lemons quadrupled to more than 130,000 tons in the period, according to statistics from the lemon industry development center of the county in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The total lemon output reached 610,000 tons in the 12-month period, with an output value of about 13.1 billion yuan (US$ 1.92 billion). The surging orders mainly came from the Middle East, West Asia and Europe. In the Middle East, the number of export destination countries has increased from three before the COVID-19 epidemic to 11 now.
Tian Zaize, director of the lemon industry development center, attributed this boom in Anyue lemon exports to its price advantages and China's prompt and effective control of the epidemic situation.
The brand of Anyue lemon is estimated to worth more than 18 billion yuan, said Yang Xiubin, director of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, at the second World Lemon Industry Development Conference, which kicked off on Monday.
Xinhuanet.com explains how Anyue is one of the world's five largest lemon producing regions. The annual output of Anyue lemons accounted for more than 80 percent of China's total. As one of the first 100 geographical indication (GI) products in China, Anyue lemons were included in the recently signed Sino-European agreement on GI.