China de­vel­op­ing taste for Turk­ish cherries

Re­vised stan­dards mean shorter ship­ping time for im­porters

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE - By Yang Kunyi

Turkey is ex­pected to boost cherry ex­ports to China af­ter the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms (GAC) ad­justed the phy­tosan­i­tary re­quire­ments on Turk­ish cherries on June 28. Ac­cord­ing to a com­pany representa­tive, the new re­quire­ment can re­duce ship­ping time from more than half a month to less than 10 hours, mean­ing Chi­nese cus­tomers will soon have a cheaper, fresher cherry op­tion.

On June 28, the GAC an­nounced that cherries from Turkey can now be fu­mi­gated for three hours in­stead of go­ing through 16 days of low tem­per­a­ture stor­age to get rid of pests be­fore be­ing im­ported to China. Turkey first signed cherry ex­port agree­ments with China in June 2016. How­ever, the pre­vi­ous agree­ment re­quired Turk­ish cherries to be stored in tem­per­a­tures at or be­low 1 C for 16 days, putting off many im­porters’ at­tempts.

The new agree­ment, which al­lows Turk­ish cherries to be fu­mi­gated for only three hours, can re­duce the ship­ping time to Shang­hai to as lit­tle as 10 hours, said Han­nah Sun, a representa­tive from Shang­hai Fengyi Im­ports and Ex­ports Co.

“We have our buy­ers based in cherry farms in Turkey, and cherries are usu­ally shipped within two days af­ter be­ing picked,” Sun told the Global Times. “Af­ter three hours of fu­mi­ga­tion and a seven-hour direct flight, cherries can ar­rive in Chi­nese fruit shops within 10 hours.”

Shang­hai Fengyi is among the first group of im­porters of Turk­ish cherries in China, ac­cord­ing to Sun.

“There is a huge mar­ket for im­ported cherries now in China, and we had al­ready as­signed our buy­ers in Turkey to look for suitable farms. As soon as the ad­just­ment in im­port re­quire­ment was an­nounced, we started im­port­ing,” Sun said.

Ac­cord­ing to data from the GAC, 189,000 tons of cherries were im­ported last year, up 183 per­cent from 2017. The to­tal value of im­ported cherries in 2018 reached $1.3 bil­lion.

China’s most pop­u­lar cherries come from coun­tries in­clud­ing Chile, the US, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. Price­wise, Turk­ish cherries are likely to be a more at­trac­tive op­tion among Chi­nese cus­tomers.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by yi­cai.com, Turk­ish cherries are priced at about 50 to 60 yuan per kilo­gram in ma­jor whole­sale mar­kets in China. Ac­cord­ing to Sun, that is a price al­most 30 per­cent cheaper than US cherries.

Shao Zhonglin, for­mer as­sis­tant sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the China Ex­press As­so­ci­a­tion, told the Global Times that it can be ex­pected Turk­ish cherries will quickly take up a big­ger mar­ket share.

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