Vietnam's fruit & veg exports to the US increase 45% to $1.7B

Vietnam’s export turnover of vegetables and fruits reached 283 million USD in June, bringing the figure in the first half of 2017 to 1.7 billion USD, up 45 percent from the same period last year.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, China, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea remained the top four importers of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits, accounting for 85 percent of the total export value.

The country has enjoyed impressive growth in fruit and vegetable exports in some markets, including Russia (67 percent), Japan (56 percent), China (50 percent) and the US (23 percent), the RoK (15 percent) and Thailand (12 percent).

Recently, green mangoes grown in Son La province have been exported to Australia for the first time, opening up opportunities for agricultural production development, particularly fruit farming, in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam.

Le Son Ha, Head of the Plant Quarantine under the Plant Protection Department, said five tonnes of mangoes will be exported to Australia weekly, adding that this gives a boost for Vietnam’s fruits to enter new markets.

source: via 

Publication date: 7/3/2017

Image: Green mangoes - Flickr_Ruurmo

US strawberries to require import permit

AU import restrictions on certain goods to change this month
Importers in Australia have been advised of the Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-Prohibited Goods) Determination 2016 (Goods Determination) which is currently under amendment. As a result, from 30 June 2017 certain commodities will have different import conditions. Once implemented, imported goods into Australia must comply with the new legislation and read this notice.

Commodities that will now require an import permit
From 30 June 2017 fresh strawberries from the United States of America will require an import permit prior to the goods being imported into Australia.

Commodities that will not require an import permit
From 30 June 2017 selected commodities will no longer require an import permit when the alternative conditions in the Goods Determination are met. This includes:
Fresh grapes for human consumption from China
Fresh mango for human consumption from Vietnam and all regions of India
Fresh apricots and interspecific stone fruit hybrids for human consumption from the United States of America
Fresh Agrocybe cylindracea mushrooms for human consumption from all countries
Dried Trametes versicolor mushrooms for human consumption from all countries
Frozen Cantharellus cibarius and Craterellus cornucopioides mushrooms for human consumption from all countries
All goods entering Australia must continue to meet the import conditions published in BICON.

source: via

Publication date: 6/22/2017

Image: Pixabay_robertobarresi

Piece-level screening for Australian exports to the USA is around the corner – I’m glad we’re ready

Article by Andrew Hudson - Customs & Trade Partner at Rigby Cooke Lawyers

This article was written before we had clarification on the passage of the bill imposing GST on LVT as set out in our GST on LVT to advance – but detail on the model yet to be determined update. This article is relevant for the commencement of the new piece-level examination requirements for air cargo to the US, commencing on 1 July 2017.

In recent times I have written at length on the uncertainties as to whether the proposed imposition of GST on LVT imports would commence on 1 July 2017.

As of late June 2017, that Bill is still before the Senate without any clarity on whether the Bill will pass and on what terms.

However, one certain change – from 1 July 2017 – is the new regime requiring piece-level examination of air cargo to the US.

The story so far?

For a number of years, Australia has held ‘preferred status’ with the US Transport Security Administration (TSA), meaning air cargo headed for the US was approved as ‘providing an adequate level of security’ – and therefore our air cargo did not require additional scrutiny. However, after an audit by the TSA, we were told to prepare for piece-level screening by 1 July 2015.

Only the airlines were ready for the implementation of the changes on 1 July 2015, meaning exports would have faced delays, so efforts were made to convince the TSA and other US agencies to provide an additional two-year period to implement the requirements.

The efforts even involved sending me to meet the TSA to demonstrate industry’s knowledge of the new regime, its willingness to meet the regime and its polite request for a modest two-year extension.

The Australian Embassy in Washington DC sent along a team of diplomats to accompany me.

That collective effort delivered the desired outcome and the TSA agreed to a two-year extension.

The next two years

Having secured the extension, the Office of Transport Security (OTS), convened the industry liaison group, the Cargo Working Group (CWG) on a regular basis to ensure that everyone was ready for the commencement of the new regime on 1 July 2017.

I have been fortunate to have been a member of the CWG, representing the Export Council of Australia (ECA) and the collaborative effort between the CWG and OTS has been admirable – and an example of excellent collaboration between Government and industry.

At the same time, Government moved with legislation to ensure the TSA requirements were met.

This included the development of the new ‘Known Consignor Scheme’ (KCS) which is a version of the ‘trusted trader’ concept by which exporters with a trusted air cargo supply chain deliver cargo directly to airlines, pre-screened.

Other options are to use a freight company that complies with the Enhanced Air Cargo Examination (EACE) Notice or to comply with the TSA’s piece-level examination requirements.

The current status

As we approach 1 July 2017, there is no doubt an exporter must comply with the new regime, which is usefully summarised on the OTS website.

Basically, air exporters to the US need to be in the KCS (unlikely at this stage) or use a freight company operating under an EACE. All by 1 July 2017 as required by legislation – or cargo won’t be loaded.

Is the TSA happy?

The TSA has recently been to Australia to review the arrangements put into place – and it has approved the new regime for the next 12 months to see how it works out in practice. This includes the KCS, which is a new concept – and one which may be applied in other jurisdictions. So, TSA approval is in place and while it will be reviewed in 12 months in a collaborative regime with the OTS and industry, I have full confidence that it can be achieved as required for all parties.

If a similar regime is applied elsewhere in the world for Australian exports the preparations here will assist industry to meet future possible obligations imposed by other authorities overseas.

What do we do now?

1 July 2017 is not far away – it is probably too late to get into and through the KCS, so check that you have a provider compliant with an EACE or you may face a tough time meeting the new requirements and your cargo may never be loaded.

As always, if pain persists, see your lawyer…..

This article was published in Air Cargo Asia Pacific magazine.

China: Australian M7 oranges enter market - Californian cherries enter end of season

This week, the long awaited Australian oranges have started to arrive on the market. Among them are also the early ripe M7 oranges, which reached Shanghai this weekend. Apart from Australian oranges, the sales speed for other oranges has slowed down this week. The prices are also slightly going down. Simultaneously, the Californian cherries are reaching the end of their season. The product quality starts to get unstable, which makes for a chaotic price on the market.

On Thursday, the first two boxes of Australian oranges of this season will be for sale in Guangzhou. The quality of the two boxes is different, but the market did not expect the variable, overall quality. The first box has different kinds of spots on its oranges, but the quality of the second box, on the contrary, is rather good. This is why the sellers have started sales of the first batch of Australian oranges with a price of 330 yuan. This weekend, the first box of M7 oranges will be for sale in Shanghai. These oranges will be from the brand Sunkist. Even though the hardness of the oranges is good, the skin is too thick, and the taste is not good enough. They are very different from the advertised sweet M7 oranges. That is why the price will not be very high. Right now, it is around 300 yuan. More than half have already been sold.

This week, Shanghai has also received the first box of 2PH oranges from the Australian brand Afourer. 2PH oranges have a great reputation in China, but in the past few years, Honey Murcott has been exported more. This year, the Chinese market has confidence in the seedless Afourer oranges. The Afourer oranges of this first box have a rather sour taste, but sellers are already setting a price of 280 yuan (10kg), and they are selling very well.

Compared to Australian oranges, the price and sales speed of other fruits, such as the American late lane oranges, the Egyptian summer oranges and the South-African grapefruits, have dropped. On the one hand, the weather has been cool and rainy this week, so the demand is not so high. On the other hand, the American late lane oranges and the Egyptian summer oranges are gradually entering the end of the season, so the quality is unstable. The Egyptian oranges have a problematic thick skin. This week, the price of qualitatively bad Egyptian oranges lingers between 70 and 90 yuan, whereas the price of better oranges is around 120 yuan. However, the sales speed is quite slow. Even though the South-African grapefruits are still early in the season, from a price of 220 yuan for the first box, the price experienced a big drop. This week, the price has already dropped to 160, but the sales speed is still not very high.

Another product that is reaching the end of the season are the Californian cherries. This week, the quality of new Californian cherries has gotten worse. The difference with older produce is rather big, so the price has dropped compared to last week. Moreover, the difference in prices of cherries of different qualities is also rather big. For example, the qualitatively good cherries from the brand Bing are sold for 480-500 yuan/5kg. Cherries of a worse quality are being sold below 450 yuan. The products in stock have to be sold as soon as possible, as the market will soon welcome the Washington cherries.

Source: Author: Yang Shuang

Publication date: 6/15/2017

Image: Pixabay_logga_wriggler

First Australian lychees heading into US markets this summer

The Australian Lychee Growers Association (ALGA) is looking forward to sending the first lychees to the US this summer.

ALGA president Derek Foley was in central Queensland this week for the association's annual meeting, talking to Capricorn Coast lychee growers about the upcoming season and the future of exporting lychees to the USA and China.

"In the first year of the three-year trial we weren't able to get any lychees into the US, and it's mainly being constrained by chemical usage," Mr Foley said.

"For instance, in Australia we have a certain number of chemicals registered for lychees and it's similar in the US … but the two lists don't line up."

Despite these road blocks, the association is optimistic of profitable new marketing opportunities for Australian growers.

"We live in hope, the US market is a massive market and we've got partners in the US who are wanting to import this fruit, that are highly motivated and highly excited about getting Australian lychees," Mr Foley said.

"I think any export destination is good for keeping the price of domestic fruit up, so we don't oversupply the market."

"It will shorten the supply up somewhat [of the domestic market] for good fruit, which will hopefully keep the price more buoyant for Australian growers but also a realistic price for consumers.

"We don't want to starve them of fruit, but we need a balance between international and domestic sales."

Breaking into the US market is looking promising, particularly after the long slog of 16 years of stalled applications for the export of Australian fruit into China.

"China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, and once a country does that they have to secure their boundaries and have phytosanitary requirements," Mr Foley said.

"Lychees are a fruit that emanates from China so we're highly desired, but it's the protocol to get in there that is the stumbling block."