After making the cultivation and sales of pomegranates a strategic priority, Uzbekistan is also thinking of opening new markets for fruits. Therefore it is important to note that, on April 27, China’s General Administration of Customs announced that pomegranates from Uzbekistan were meeting the stipulated phytosanitary requirements would be permissible for export to China.
According to EastFruit, Uzbekistan exports only 10,000 to 15,000 tons of fresh pomegranates per year and most of it goes to Russia and other countries of ex-USSR. On the other hand, China is the largest global importer and imports, together with Hong Kong, pomegranates for a little more than $1 billion.
Andriy Yarmak, economist of Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), made this statement: “It is a very rewarding to see Uzbekistan focusing on trendy products. Global pomegranate market is growing fast and having China – largest global buyer, as a neighbour, suggests that Uzbekistan is making a good move. However, Uzbekistan would have to develop a large-scale commercial production, storage and handling of newer varieties to match expectations of Chinese buyers, which will certainly take some time and will pose some technological challenges.”
The pomegranate supply season in Uzbekistan typically lasts from September to November, which partially overlaps with that in China (July–November). Furthermore, pomegranate production in Uzbekistan is focused on local varieties, which may be less appealing to Chinese consumers.
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