Coronavirus Pandemic: China fruit imports returning to normal

China is one of the world's biggest importers of fresh fruit, and much of that fruit comes into the country through Shanghai.

China is one of the world’s biggest importers of fresh fruit, and much of that fruit comes into the country through Shanghai. About 65 percent of China’s kiwifruit from New Zealand is expected to be imported through Shanghai ports in 2020. Kiwifruit marketers are seeing big opportunities in China despite the impact of COVID-19. CGTN reporter Yang Chengxi has more.

45 hundred tons of freshly-harvested kiwi from New Zealand arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday. Customs agents say fruit imports are gradually returning to normal after a two month lull.

TENG KAI Director, Dept. of Animal & Plant Quarantine, Shanghai Customs “According to our statistics, fruit imports into the Shanghai port were 146 thousand tons. This is about 90% of the same time last year.”

YANG CHENGXI Shanghai “This is China’s first shipment of Kiwi fruits from New Zealand in 2020. As soon as the cargo arrived, they will go through a rigorous inspection process.”

TENG KAI Director, Dept. of Animal & Plant Quarantine, Shanghai Customs “We’ve shortened our inspection process from seven days to just one day. The fruit can hit the shelves the next day.”

G20 trade ministers agreed this week while countries deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, they should ensure the international flow of goods like medical equipment and agricultural products. Zespri, the New Zealand-based marketer of kiwifruit, said their shipment this year hasn’t been affected at all.

MICHAEL JIANG Greater China General Manager, Zespri “I think this is the earliest time in the last five years.”

Major supermarkets in China, Zespri’s biggest single market, have seen more shoppers since March.

MICHAEL JIANG Greater China General Manager, Zespri “We don’t think the fundamentals of the economy have changed. Especially for China’s middle class consumer, we don’t think their cautiousness over health, or their demands of high quality food will change. It’s still very very positive.”

The New Zealand company foresees a 10 to 15 percent annual growth for its business in China in the next few years, despite the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. YCX, CGTN, SHANGHAI.

Source:CGTN