Argentina has carried out its first shipment of sweet citrus to the Chinese market in eight years.
A 22-metric-ton (MT) load of W. Murcott mandarins was sent by the Trébol Pampa and is due to arrive in Shanghai in late September.
CEO Daniel Bovino told Fresh Fruit Portal that Argentina had shipped oranges to China until 2010, but a shipment sent by another company had arrived in poor conditions and exporters had decided to discontinue trade.
Local media also reported that other factors involves in the decision included high internal and shipping costs and exchange rate issues.
Bovino said this mandarin shipment is being carried out as a trial and will serve as a guideline for planning new exports in the future.
He did not expect additional shipments to be made this season as it is now in its final stages.
“The big challenge here is the journey because it’s 45 days with cold treatment, so we want to see how it arrives. We think it is a very resistant variety, so it should arrive well,” he said.
Bovino said the company is working with an importer-distributor in China.
“We want to know if the fruit will arrive in good condition before focusing more on the commercial development,” he said.
“It is an experimental shipment to assess the technical and travel conditions, so it is a priority to know how the product is going to arrive. Based on that we will make projections for the future.
“If this arrives well there’s the possibility of looking into shipments from Chile, if the times are shorter. But in the end we are confident that it will go well, as this variety is sent to Southeast Asia. Here the difference is that it is shipped at a slightly lower temperature than normal.”
Photo: Trébol Pampa.