China updated blueberry import record in 2019, although it bought berries in only two countries


China updated blueberry import record in 2019, although it bought berries in only two countries

02/20/2020

In 2019, China increased imports of blueberries by 44% to $ 175 million, or 22 thousand tons

EastFruit analysts note the growing importance of China as a market for blueberries. In 2019, China increased imports of blueberries by 44% to $ 175 million, or 22 thousand tons. However, only six countries had the opportunity to supply this berry fresh to the Chinese market. Ukraine, by the way, cannot yet obtain such permission, although the procedure for approving security certificates has been launched for a long time.

Such an impressive growth in imports will allow China to rise again in the ranking of the world’s largest importers of blueberries. Now, by the end of 2019, this country is likely to take the sixth place in terms of imports, after the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada.

It is noteworthy that in 2019 the main supplier of blueberries to China was replaced. If Chile held the leadership for many years, then in 2019 for the first time the first place in terms of supply was taken by suppliers from Peru. They exported 11.9 thousand tons of fresh blueberries to China in a calendar year, while Chileans only 10 thousand tons.

In principle, we can say that these two countries were the exclusive suppliers of fresh blueberries to China, because they accounted for more than 99% of all supplies. Canada, for example, which ranked third in the ranking of suppliers, delivered only 70 tons of blueberries in a year. Only six tons of blueberries were exported to China by Argentina and one ton each by Mexico and Uruguay.

See also: World prices for blueberries in 2020 may be the lowest in history – forecast

“Obviously, gaining access to the Chinese blueberry market does not guarantee that product deliveries to this country will be possible. The Chinese market remains very competitive, while Peru and Chile have an undeniable advantage over the rest in the form of competitive logistics. They know how to organize direct charter flights by sea with containers of blueberries, which makes fresh berries from these countries much more competitive in price than blueberries from countries trying to deliver them by air, ”says Andrei Yarmak, an economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ( FAO).

“If we talk about the desire of Ukraine to supply blueberries to China, then even after obtaining permits, it will be extremely difficult to make deliveries. After all, China is also actively developing its own commercial cultivation of blueberries, and our seasons overlap. In addition, Ukraine will have to deliver products by air in small batches, which will make it too expensive and not very attractive for local traders who need volumes to work on the Chinese market, ”the expert notes.

As for the prospects for deliveries of blueberries to China for 2020, they will largely depend on the situation with coronavirus. It is possible that blueberry imports may even decline, because now is the peak of the blueberry import season from Chile and Peru, but the consumption of this berry in China has now fallen sharply. This has already negatively affected world prices for blueberries, and exporters from the Southern Hemisphere are actively looking for alternative markets for China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, where there are problems with consumption due to the epidemic.

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