Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture published the official rule earlier this week.
Sergio del Castillo of industry body ProCitrus told Fresh Fruit Portal he expected the first exports to Japan to begin from April next year, which would be the start of the next season.
He explained the fruit would be subject to cold treatment of 3ºC for around 22 23 days, which he said would allow the fruit to arrive at the destination in good condition.
The representative believed it unlikely that large volumes would be sent to Japan, given the declining demand for fruit in the Asian country.
“Japan is not a very big market if we compare it with other Asian markets. Japan is a niche market, it is a market in which the population is declining and also in which fruit and vegetable consumption is declining due to changing demographics,” he said.
However, he said that it offers high prices and would undoubtedly benefit the Peruvian citrus industry by helping exporters to diversify and also boosting the country’s reputation as a trustworthy exporter.
“We are already working with India, Vietnam and we have requested access to Thailand, the Philippines, and possibly South Korea,” he said, but clarified that the latter did not want to import mandarins from anywhere, only other citrus fruits.
Castillo added that the best fruit would go to Japan, “in limited quantities are first to see how the fruit is accepted in the satsuma market.”
The fruit will be available from March 2019, and so he expected the first shipments would take place in April or May.
In 2015 Peru also gained access to the Japanese avocado market, in 2018 shipping 5,200 metric tons (MT), and Agriculture Minister Gustavo Mostajo said: “A similar situation is expected in the coming years for satsuma mandarins.”