China

Exports rise in value, volume

The 2018/19 trade figures are now in and the results speak for themselves. Fresh horticulture exports have exceeded expectations yet again, with the sixth record-breaking year in a row. Fresh fruit and vegetable exports surpassed $1.6 billion, representing a 20% increase in value and 8% improvement in volume from the previous year.

Table grapes have been the standout commodity, with over half a billion dollars of fruit exported and achieving the title of the first fruit commodity to reach this mark. Vegetable exports rose a solid 10%, with onions regaining ground and achieving export volumes not seen for several years. More recently, an excellent season is currently being reported for Queensland mandarins with high quality fruit and strong prices. We expect this will bolster trade export volumes over the coming year for this commodity.

China has maintained its position as the number one trading partner for fresh Australian fruit by both volume and value. Table grapes significantly contributed to this result, however improved pathways for both summerfruit and cherries have helped solidify this trade destination. For fresh vegetable exports, Singapore took out the top position for value, while carrot exports to United Arab Emirates pushed this market to the number one position for volume.

Half a year has now passed since enhanced air cargo security measures were implemented. Reports coming in from industry members and participants of the Air Cargo Security Advisory Forum (ACSIAF) held earlier this year indicate the transition was smoother than expected with no major impediments with the exception of higher operational costs.

Around the Brisbane ports, some stevedore and shipping line problems associated with capacity issues have been experienced, however these are hoped to be addressed prior to next year.

Moving forward, the AHEIA is preparing to host industry information-exchange meetings in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne markets for members, exporters and importers alike. More information will be provided on this on due course. We hope to see and hear your views on issues affecting your businesses.

Author: Andréa Magiafoglou (CEO Australia Horticultural Exporters' and Importers' Association)

Source: Brisbane Markets Fresh Source Magazine

Australian importers and exporters gather

Over 50 stakeholders discuss key issues at annual AHEIA forum in Melbourne

Some of the leading decision-makers involved in Australia’s international fresh produce trade gathered in Melbourne yesterday for the Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) Industry Forum.

A wide-ranging programme covered some of the key issues facing the sector, including biosecurity, regulatory processes and improved market access.

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Australian minister for agriculture, delivered the opening address via video link. The morning session continued with presentations from David Ironside, Deb Langford, Mick Mihalenko and Malcolm Keen from the Australian Department of Agriculture.

Following a break for lunch, the afternoon session began with an examination of trends in global fresh produce trade through a presentation from Wayne Prowse of Fresh Intelligence Consulting. Prowse told the audience that 83m tonnes of fresh produce was traded across the globe in 2018, with Australia exporting some 499,521 tonnes of fresh fruit and 232,991 tonnes of fresh vegetables.

Prowse said over 60 per cent of Australian exports were shipped directly to protocol markets in 2018. China led the way in terms of market share, with 34 per cent of Australian fresh produce exports destined for the People’s Republic.

The acceptance of irradiation as an approved phytosanitary treatment under several new and renegotiated protocols is being viewed as a key driver for Australia’s export growth, particularly in Asia. Ben Reilly of Steritech, a company that has pioneered irradiation treatment in Australia, told the audience that his company has seen a substantial lift in the volume of fruit it handles across all categories over the past 12 months.

The demand has been so great that Steritech has now developed a second treatment centre on the outskirts of Melbourne. The new facility will provide better access to irradiation treatment for crops predominantly produced in south-east Australia, such as cherries and table grapes, while its proximity to Melbourne Airport (25km away) ensures a short transit time for airfreight.

The forum rounded out with a presentation from AHEIA chief executive Andréa Magiafoglou, who outlined the association’s key objectives for the year ahead. Magiafoglou said the forum remained an important date on the calendar for AHEIA members.

“The AHEIA AGM and Industry Forum are designed to connect members, update industry on the state of the global market and hear directly from Australian Government representatives involved in horticulture trade,” Magiafoglou explained. “This year attracted over 50 stakeholders, and speakers covered a variety of topics spanning global trade data, and regulatory processes in horticulture trade.”

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/produceplus

Author: Matthew Jones

Australian stonefruit rides high

Exports climb to record levels over 2018/19 season, with shipments to mainland China propelling the growth


It’s been a vintage season for Australian stonefruit exports, with volumes climbing to 22,861 tonnes between July 2018 and April 2019, according to data prepared by Fresh Intelligence Consulting.

The performance betters the previous record of 20,600 tonnes set in 2003 for the 10-month period, within which the bulk of Australia’s stonefruit harvest and exports take place.

The 2018/19 volume represents a 29 per cent increase on the 2017/18 campaign, while the overall value of trade (A$88.68m in 2018/19) rose 37 per cent year-on-year.

Mainland China continues to emerge as a focal point for the Australian industry, with exports to the Asian nation climbing 88 per cent year-on-year to 9,348 tonnes over the 2018/19 campaign. This translated to a market share of 40.9 per cent.

Singapore ranked second on the list of export destinations by volume, taking 2,530 tonnes, 5 per cent up on 2017/18.

Strong export growth was reported in Saudi Arabia (volumes up 42 per cent to 1,957 tonnes) and Indonesia (up 60 per cent to 993 tonnes).

Peaches and nectarines accounted for 69 per cent of the export shipments, while plums represented 29 per cent.

Peak industry body Summerfruit Australia (SAL) recently appointed Trevor Ranford as its new chief executive. Ranford replaces John Moore, who will continue to work with SAL on improving export market access for Australian growers.

Ranford has over 40 years of experience in the horticulture industry, including various executive roles with organisations in the pipfruit and cherry industries.

Click here to see graph

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Matthew Jones

 

China hits back with tariffs

Following a recent increase to 25 per cent on Chinese goods to the US, China has retaliated against US imports
China has retaliated to a tariff increase from the US made last Friday 9 May, following a lag in agreement to level-out overall trade between the two nations.

Tariffs on around US$60bn of goods imported from the US to China will now be impacted. These do not include fresh fruits and vegetables but impact a number of processed fruit items and agricultural products, and add to the overall trade tension.

China’s ministry of finance said in a statement that the measures had led to escalation of trade frictions, contrary to the consensus between China and the United States on resolving trade differences through consultations. It said the move has jeopardised the interests of both sides and not met the general expectations of the international community.

The ministry noted that according to national foreign trade law and tariff regulations, the State Council Tariff Commission has decided on 1 June, 2019 tariffs will subsequently increase on imported goods.

There are four separate increases on different listed items. There will be a 25 per cent increase in tariff on 2,493 items; 20 per cent increase on 1,078 items, 10 per cent increase on 947 items, and a 5 per cent increase on 595 items.

A number of frozen fruit and vegetable lines like peas, spinach, berries, nuts, sweet potato and corn are impacted, as well as processing equipment like washing, sorting and grading machinery.

Feeling the strain

The ongoing tariff dispute, now in place for over a year, has made a mark on fresh produce trade between the two nations.

Data analysed by Fresh Intelligence Consulting shows China is becoming less reliant on the US as a supplier of imported fruit. Its main imports by value are cherries, oranges, table grapes and apples.

In 12 months to March 2019 China imported 79,439 tonnes of fresh fruit valued at US$219.3m. That was 47 per cent lower in value terms than in the same period the year prior.

In the first quarter of 2019, orange imports were 80 per cent lower in value compared with the same quarter in 2018, down to 7,500 tonnes from 33,000 tonnes respectively.

Egypt was noted as picking up some of the additional volume with a 10,000 tonne increase in the march quarter of 2019 compared with the year prior.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Camellia Aebischer

US implements 25 per cent tariff

Threatened increase in tariffs on Chinese goods now in place with deal still pending between US and China


US president, Donald Trump, has implemented taxes of 25 per cent on US$200bn worth of goods, including cauliflower, carrots, leeks, turnips, mushrooms, garlic, onions, nuts, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries.

Tariff increases came into play last Friday 10 May, up from a previous 10 per cent. South China Morning Post reported goods already bound for the US from China will not need to adhere to the 25 per cent tax providing they can prove goods were purchased before last Friday.

The decision has come after the US and China could not reach a trading agreement, following a year of back and forth turmoil, ignited by increased tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China by Trump.

BBC News reported that Deborah Elms, executive director at the Asian Trade Centre was quick to point out that the rise in tariffs is likely to have a negative effect on US companies and consumers.

“Those are all US companies who are suddenly facing a 25 per cent increase in cost, and then you have to remember that the Chinese are going to retaliate,” she said.

Following the increase on US$200bn of goods, Reuters reported Trump has ordered a tariff hike on all remaining imports from China to the US, which will impact an additional US$300bn of goods. The final decision on this order has not yet been made, according to reports.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Camellia Aebischer

 

Slowdown, what slowdown?

China's 2018 fresh fruit imports are up 36 per cent over the prior year, despite the country's slowing economic growth
China’s 2018 fresh fruit import figures reflect no signs of the country’s reported economic slowdown, recording a 36 per cent rise in value over the prior year.

According to Fresh Intelligence analysis of the latest China Customs figures, China imported a total of 4.8m tonnes of fresh fruit in 2018, worth US$6.9bn. This is up from the 3.8m tonnes valued at US$5.1bn imported in 2017, and achieved during a year when China recorded its slowest economic growth since 1990.

Imports from Chile, Thailand and the Philippines showed the greatest growth in 2018: up 68 per cent, 67 per cent and 42 per cent respectively in value terms over the previous year, the data showed.

Chile was just ahead of Thailand as the largest supplier by value due to the high prices of its cherries and grapes, Fresh Intelligence’s Wayne Prowse explained. In volume terms Chile ranked fourth after Vietnam (1.23m tonnes), the Philippines (1.16m tonnes) and Thailand (767, 472 tonnes) with 387,728 tonnes in 2018.

Meanwhile, Thai imports increased 67 per cent in value over 2017, and were dominated by durians and mangosteens.

The Philippines ranked third in import value growth terms, with mostly bananas and pineapples, and was followed by Vietnam, with dragonfruit and longans.

New Zealand imports, mostly kiwifruit and apples, saw a 21 per cent growth in value during 2018, while Australia was just behind, dominated by grapes and citrus and showing growth of 19 per cent.

The US slipped to seventh from fifth position in China’s 2018 import value rankings, and was the only major trading partner to lose value by 31 per cent, the figures showed.

The US export decline to China reflects the impact of retaliatory tariffs and stricter customs controls on US imports due to the diplomatic tensions between the two countries, which began in July 2018.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Luisa Cheshire

China cherry potential

China offers great export opportunities to Argentine and Australian cherry growers, says Fruta Cloud
China will become a top cherry market for newcomers Argentina and Australia, despite tariff and fumigation challenges, as cherry demand throughout the country grows, predicts Fruta Cloud.

The Shanghai-based B2B imported fruit service provider said mainland Australia, which gained cherry access last year, has a geographical and transport-cost advantage over top cherry supplier Chile. Meanwhile, Argentina, which also gained cherry access last year, can express-ship its cherries by sea three times a week.

Indeed, Fruta Cloud said it was the first company to introduce Argentine cherries to the market this season by supplying Alibaba Group’s Hema supermarkets.

Fruta Cloud said the export opportunities for Australia and Argentina cherries in China out-weigh the challenges, which for Australia include preserving fruit quality after compulsory fumigation, and for Argentina involve a 10 per cent import tariff and a cold-treatment protocol.

“As the demand for cherries is growing stronger, it is believed that China will become one of the most important exporting markets for Argentinian and Australian cherries. Lucky Chinese consumers are provided with more options for cherries,” Fruta Cloud said in a press release.

Chile is currently China’s top Southern Hemisphere cherry supplier, shipping over 15,000 tonnes of cherries via ocean and sea from late October to the end of February, Fruta Cloud said.

“Chilean cherries have been performing well in recent years owing to their outstanding quality, such as large size and good firmness,” the company said in statement. “Thus Chilean cherries win a good reputation among consumers. In addition, the huge marketing investment from [Chilean exporter association] Asoex in China has also played a significant role in this item’s success.”

After years targetting China’s first-tier cities, Chilean cherry exporters are now focusing on the second and third-tier cities, which have great consumption potential, Fruta Cloud added.

Fruta Cloud said it helped Asoex launch Chilean cherries at Shuangfu Wholesale Market in Chongqing in January this year. “This event successfully ignited the passion for Chilean cherries in Midwest China,” Fruta Cloud said.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Luisa Cheshire 

Political discord takes its toll: China-Australia trade growth slows

In 2018, the growth of Australia’s trade with China shrank by more than two-thirds. Analysts said on Sunday it remains to be seen how bilateral trade will perform in 2019.

On January 23, China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) released figures showing that Australia’s trade with China stood at 1 trillion yuan ($149.3 billion), up 8.9 percent year-on-year. That growth figure was nearly 30 percent in 2017. China’s exports to Australia grew 11.4 percent while imports were up 7.8 percent.

The growth rates were dismal compared with 2017, when a free trade agreement boosted bilateral trade and sent the figure up 29.1 percent to 923.41 billion yuan, GAC figures showed. China’s exports to Australia were up 13.9 percent and imports up 37.2 percent during that year, and China held about 30 percent of Australia’s export market.

Experts say the global economic outlook damaged by the China-US trade war was one reason for much slower trade growth between the two countries.

As described on hellenicshippingnews.com, relations between Australia and China have soured since the country accused China in late 2017 of meddling in domestic affairs. The country then in August blocked Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies Co from supplying 5G equipment.


Publication date : 1/29/2019

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

China’s Crackdown on Daigou, New Cross-Border e-Commerce Policies

China’s crackdown on daigou is part of its moves to strengthen e-commerce regulation and better control the rapidly expanding sector.

Cross-border e-commerce in China has grown steadily in recent years, on the back of strong consumer demand for premium brands and high-quality overseas products.

A significant amount of this shopping is done through the gray channel known in Chinese as ‘daigou’. Literally translated as ‘buy on behalf’, daigou refers to a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) relationship of intermediaries who purchase overseas goods for Chinese consumers for a fee.

iiMedia Research, a Chinese market consultancy, finds that China’s cross-border e-commerce generated RMB 7.6 trillion (US$1.1 trillion) in sales last year. By 2020, the market research firm eMarketer projects that a quarter of the Chinese population will be shopping online for overseas products via cross-border e-commerce websites.

Given this rapid growth and its unregulated nature, the Chinese government is now implementing policies to bring cross-border e-commerce under stricter control while supporting its growth.

China’s crackdown on daigou
From January 1, 2019, daigou merchants are obligated to register and pay taxes. The new law compels daigou merchants to obtain licenses and formally register as businesses. Otherwise, they will be subject to fines as high as RMB 2 million (US$291,620) for illegal business and tax evasion.

Chinese customs have reportedly doubled down on their inspections of daigou merchants at airports, and some have been imprisoned for tax evasion.

By coming down heavily on daigou merchants, the Chinese government aims to collect more taxes from cross-border e-commerce imports. In the past, most daigou merchants declared their imports as personal items to avoid taxes.

Some estimate the daigou practice to be worth tens of billions of dollars a year, meaning that authorities lose tremendous tax revenue on these transactions.

Foreign retailers will also benefit from China’s crackdown on daigou. Before, purchasing through daigou merchants helped consumers save on import duties, giving them an advantage over traditional e-retailers.

With the crackdown, daigou purchases will become pricier, meaning that products sold by foreign retailers will become more competitive for Chinese consumers.

New cross-border e-commerce policies
In late November, the State Council released new policies promoting cross-border e-commerce, which came into effect on January 1, 2019.

According to the policies, China’s Ministry of Finance will add 63 categories of products to the list of goods that are duty-free when purchased via cross-border e-commerce platforms, including popular consumer goods like electronics, small home appliances, food, and healthcare products.

With the new policy, the list of duty-free cross-border e-commerce products covers 1,321 items in total.

Further, the tax-free quota on single transactions will increase by 150 percent from RMB 2,000 (US$291.62) to RMB 5,000 (US$729.05). Consumers buying high-value products shall benefit more from the higher single transaction limit.

China will also loosen the annual quota of individual consumers on cross-border e-commerce to RMB 26,000 (US$3,791.06), up from RMB 20,000 (US$2,916.20) previously. The ministry will increase the annual quota as income grows in the future.

Additionally, China will extend cross-border e-commerce pilot zones to 22 more cities, including Beijing, Nanjing, and Shenyang, bringing the total to 35 cities. Cross-border e-commerce companies enjoy easier customs procedures and supportive policies in these zones.

Implications for China’s e-commerce industry
China’s crackdown on daigou is unlikely to have a significant impact on total cross-border e-commerce consumption.

The new policy initiatives only serve to tighten the tax gap between cross-border platforms and daigou, making the difference in prices between imported goods from cross-border e-commerce platforms and daigou insignificant.

Cross-border e-commerce platforms are the main beneficiary under China’s new policies. Chinese consumers maintain high demand for imported goods that cannot be found on the domestic market. The crackdown on daigou will divert this consumption towards legitimate channels, such as Alibaba’s Tmall Global and NetEase’s Kaola. In the long term, these measures will expand the scale and reach of Chinese e-commerce platforms.

Moreover, consumers in China will benefit from the credibility and authenticity of retailers and their products on cross-border e-commerce platforms due to stricter management, compared to daigou sellers.

Overseas retailers are also likely to welcome China’s push for regulation of daigou.

Products sold by daigou have generally evaded import taxes, which put them at a competitive advantage over legitimate sellers that paid taxes on their products. Given the online commerce push by major foreign retailers like Sainsbury and Walmart, the transparency in regulation is a positive development.

On their part, daigou merchants will adopt a wait-and-see attitude toward China’s new e-commerce policies. Most of them will likely take a break from daigou activities in the short term and see whether authorities continue to enforce the new policies.

Combined with the new e-Commerce Law, which also took effect on January 1, China is aiming to improve oversight and regulation of its e-commerce market.

Those selling via legitimate cross-border e-commerce channels in China will benefit from expanded preferential policies and support against gray-area competitors and counterfeiters.

 

Source: https://www.china-briefing.com

Written byFrank Ka-Ho Wong

Northern Australia launches initiative to boost mango exports to China

There is a new Australian initiative, joining experts and producers to boost the export of North Australian mangoes by some 200 percent.

The 1.6-million US dollar undertaking was announced on Monday and will be led by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), involving Australia's leading Calypso mango exporter Perfection Fresh (Perfection), the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and the University of Queensland (UQ).

Northern Territory project manager Sally Leigo from the CRCNA told Xinhua that a number of new mango plantations being established in the region have prompted the industry to look for new and innovative export avenues. Key to the new strategy will be moving from airfreight to sea freight, allowing for a larger amount of produce to be moved, but creating the distinct problem of maintaining freshness during the 18-day journey from Brisbane to China.

"An issue that the team in this project certainly want to tackle is, how can you maintain the quality of that fresh mango throughout the transportation and various handling procedures once it arrives," Leigo said. "A key with mangoes is making sure they don't ripen too quickly during the transportation process."

Because the ripeness process is affected by heat, the team intend to use data loggers to monitor the temperatures within refrigeration units, with information being sent via satellite to make sure that the fruit is at its best when it arrives.

Leigo said the success of the project will mean Chinese consumers are able to enjoy even more of this coveted fruit counter-season to their own market. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2021.


Publication date : 1/15/2019
Source: www.freshplaza.com

Early engagement core to market access in China

With market access negotiations underway for Australian mainland apples and strong progress made towards the launch of Pink Lady® in China, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) are doubling down on their efforts to forge relationships in the region.

“This is our third visit to mainland China in the last 12 months,” said Andrew Hooke, APAL Director Global Development, of the team’s November trip. “Market access is probably still some time away, but we are doing all that we can to accelerate this by articulating the benefits to China and generating excitement around our product.”

The most recent visit coincided with the China Fruit & Vegetable Fair where Australian fresh produce was appreciated by Chinese officials at the trade display hosted by Hort Innovation and Taste Australia.

During the visit, APAL also participated in the 2018 International Seminar on Inspection Technical Cooperation sponsored and hosted by China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA).

“CIQA plays an important role in securing access for Australian mainland apples so it was quite an honour to have APAL’s own Head of Global Quality and Innovation, Andrew Mandemaker, invited to address the delegates,” explained Andrew. The prestigious event was attended Professor Guo Lisheng, Senior Advisor of CIQA; Mr Paul McNamara, Minister Counsellor from the Australian Embassy; and Mr Adam Balcerak Department of Agriculture.

In addition to informal discussions, APAL was also asked to present to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.

“We are building the business case for the size and sophistication of the Australian apple industry and its value to the Chinese consumer, every chance we get.”

“The quality of the existing commercial relationships between APAL and Chinese government officials and business partners, reinforces our commitment to an industry partnership, which will be a key driver for the Chinese government supporting market access,” said Andrew.

For more information:
Apple and Pear Australia Limited
Phone: +61 3 9329 3511
Fax: +61 3 9329 3522
Email: ea@apal.org.au
www.apal.org.au


Publication date : 1/9/2019

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Shipments of oranges and mandarins to China continue to climb, while US demand stabilises

Increasing demand from China has been the driving force behind growth in Australian citrus exports over the last decade. Shipments to all international markets have increased on average 8 per cent by volume per year over ten years to 265,000 tonnes (12 months to September 2018).

Based on preliminary results for 2018, exports may miss the 2017 record (volume) by around 3 per cent, however, it is still a very strong result compared to even a few years ago. According to peak industry body Citrus Australia, mandarin exports were lower due to the lighter crop in Queensland this year, as well as an earlier finish to the season.

China, including Hong Kong, accounted for around 44 per cent of Australian citrus exports in 2018 (data until September), followed by Japan with 15 per cent.

Comparatively, China, including mostly Hong Kong, made up 17 per cent of exports in 2008, while Japan was 11 per cent. Back then North America was the leading market, holding a 22 per cent share of exports. It now holds 7 per cent.

Australia enjoyed many years of solid trade into North America, being the first Southern Hemisphere country to gain market access for citrus to the US in 1993. As more countries gained access to this lucrative market, Australia’s share declined. While Australia’s market development focus has shifted to China, the North American market, including the US and Canada, has settled to a stable demand pattern for Australian oranges and increasingly mandarins, mostly from the West Coast regions. Trade to North America lifted 8 per cent in 2018.

Korea is a developing market for Australian oranges and lifted 48 per cent in 2018 to over 3,000 tonnes. With tariffs approaching zero by 2020 under a free trade agreement, Citrus Australia sees greater opportunities in the Korean market for counter-seasonal citrus from Australia.

ASEAN markets have long been the mainstay of Australian citrus exports, though the mix of markets has changed. Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines have ramped up to become significant markets, while Singapore has been steady at around 10,000 tonnes. Malaysia, once the largest market in the region, has declined in volume by over 50 per cent in ten years.

The Middle East markets have increased more than 3 per cent year-on-year over the decade, although they dipped some 20 per cent in 2018 as other suppliers increased their share in the region and traded more directly with end markets rather than through the UAE hub.

Europe remains a small opportunistic market for Australian citrus, with some niche opportunities for high-end fruit that can withstand the long distance and freight costs.

Citrus Australia has been focused on developing sustained export growth that has provided viable returns for growers large and small.

The range of navel oranges and the development of new seedless mandarin varieties to meet market needs have been instrumental in the growth enjoyed over the last few years, along with a cohesive team of professional exporters supported by Citrus Australia.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Wayne Prowse