Southern Hemisphere countries do little to promote fruit in China, report says
The agency analyzed the Chinese market promotions of countries that compete with the U.S. in food exports. Among those countries were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand.
Most countries’ promotional efforts focused on wine and other agricultural exports, such as meat and dairy. But Brazil aims to capitalize on China’s interest in its stone fruit. And the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association participates in trade shows, the report said. ProChile focuses its efforts on small- and medium-size enterprises.
China’s fruit imports continue to grow despite the relative lack of promotion, the report said. Chile is the top exporter from the Southern Hemisphere, followed by South Africa and New Zealand, it said.
China’s apple and pear imports have jumped to US $54 million in 2006 from US $25 million in 2009. In the same time period, Chile replaced New Zealand as an off-season provider of the fruits, because of its lower labor costs. In 2000, New Zealand had 50% of the market, in 2009, it had 0%. Argentina and Brazil may start shipping apples and pears to China in the next few years, the report said.
The U.S. and Chile have 80% to 90% of the grape market in China, which is improving its internal cold transport to better move its home-grown grapes around the country. Peru, a relative newcomer, has about 5% of this market, the report said.
Chilean stone fruit–mainly cherries-- also has a big foothold in China, whose overall imports of stone fruit have increased to US $55 million in 2009 from US $15 million in 2007. Similarly, Chilean stone fruit exports to China have skyrocketed to US $40 million in 2009 from less than US $1 million in 2006. Chile is able to deliver cherries in time for the Chinese New Year in January or February.