The peak period of Chinese fruit import takes place every year between December and May or June in the subsequent year. Chilean cherries kick off the season, and are closely followed by Peruvian grapes and Australian stone fruits. Mr. Huang, spokesperson for Ever Flourish Fruit Expo, talked about the impact of the pandemic and limited global shipping capacity on the fruit industry. He analyzed conditions in several major fruit production areas and shared his view on the main challenges for fruit export in the next few months.

Mr. Huang first analyzed the situation in Chile: "The greatest challenge for Chilean cherries is distribution. How will traders sell around 70%-80% of the cherries prior to Chinese Spring Festival [1 February, 2022]? Time is short and the task is great, and the pandemic makes the task even more difficult. This will be another challenging season, but no matter what happens, the Chilean cherries that reach China are still easily absorbed by the market. However, if we are to increase the commercial value of Chilean cherries, then everyone in the industry has to work together to overcome the 'bottleneck' problems in the industry."

The sales conditions of Australian fruits are affected by diplomatic tensions between China and Australia. Last season was extremely difficult, and the problems are not yet solved. However, the problems are not all due to the diplomatic tension. There are some issues of a technological nature as well. According to Mr. Huang, "the two sides are unable to connect and jointly solve the technological issues because the diplomatic tension gets in the way. That is why the situation persists. The normalization of Sino-Australian fruit trade requires a change of attitude in Australia, because 'whoever started the trouble should end it'."

"The greatest challenge for Peruvian fruit is the unreliability of the cargo shipping service, especially in terms of backlogs in ports and delays in shipping. The regular shipping time from Peru to China already takes one month, and these logistical problems further delay the arrival of Peruvian fruit in Chinese ports. The shipping delays affect product quality, which in turn stimulates significant price fluctuations. This is a problem that will not be solved in the short term. And, since global shipping is an interconnected web, problems in one area always create 'butterfly effects' for other regions."

Mr. Huang also discussed the sales conditions of South African fruit: "South African oranges and tangerines will probably still face a shortage of shipping containers this season. The General Administration Customs China (GACC) has reduced the number of ports in which cargo ships can offload refrigerated containers as part of the pandemic prevention measures. These limitations add to the cost price of fruit import. Next year the refrigerated shipping containers with South African oranges and tangerines will likely be offloaded in South Chinese ports."

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Mr. Huang

Ever Flourish Fruit Expo