On the 12th of November, after having met the standards for the Inspection and Quarantine services and having obtained a certificate, 21 tons of pears from Qixian county in Shanxi province were shipped to Canada. This is the first time pears from Shanxi have entered the Canadian market. Qixian county is the Chinese "town of soft pears". Due to their nice shape, their thin peel and soft pulp, their fragrance and crispy taste, the pears sell well in Southeast Asia, South Africa, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many other international markets. In 2016 the sizes of all plantations across the county summed up to 16,000 hectares (240 thousand mu), of which pear trees took up 11,100 hectares (166,5 thousand mu). The gross output value amounted for 1,175 million EUR (8,64 million RMB). For the past few years, the fruit exports originating in this county have increased significantly. Exports in 2016 were 86,6% higher than those in the same period of 2015.