According to a report by the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Food, Native Products, and Animal By-products, China's customs statistics indicate that the value of fruit imports exceeded 10 billion dollars for the first time in 2020, registering an 8% increase over 2019, with a total value of 10,260 million.
This increase in value contrasts with the 8% drop in the total fruit import volume, which totaled 6,302 million tons. According to the report, this is largely-attributed to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on supply chains worldwide.
Main imported fruits
The nine main fruits, in terms of import value, were: fresh durian, cherries, bananas, mangosteens, fresh grapes, pitahaya, longans, kiwis, and oranges (fresh and dried).
Durians ranked first with a value of 2.3 billion dollars (+ 44% over 2019) and 575,000 tons (5%). Cherries ranked second place with a value of 1,630 million dollars (+ 16%) and 210,000 tons (+ 9%); they were followed by bananas, with 930 million dollars (-15%) and 1.75 million tons (-10%).
The value and volume of mangosteen imports also fell by 15% and 19%, respectively. The value of dragon fruit imports increased by 53% reaching a total value of 550 million dollars, while the import volume increased by 42%.
Table grapes imports remained stable relative to the values of the previous year, while the figures for kiwis and oranges decreased to varying degrees.
China's fruit exports have also grown steadily in the past two years, and total fruit exports in 2020 reached 3.86 million tons (+ 7% over the previous year), totaling 6.39 billion dollars (+ 16%).
The main fruits exported by China in 2020, by value, were apples, fresh table grapes, citrus (including satsumas mandarins and oranges), fresh pears, fresh persimmons, lemons and limes, grapefruit, fresh peaches (including nectarines), and fresh and dried oranges.
Fruit consumption in China has steadily increased over the past few years due to different factors, such as population growth, the increase in incomes, and increasing urbanization. As a result, China's fruit imports and exports are booming, accounting for more than 6% of the total global fruit trade.