BEIJING – Chile was the largest exporter of fresh fruit to China in 2016, with total exports amounting to $1.2 billion (around 1.1 billion euros), the Chilean embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.
Exports of Chilean fruit, including cherries, blueberries and plums to China grew last year by 22 percent.
Chilean shipments accounted for about 24 percent of the total fresh fruit that China imported last year toppling Thailand, according to China’s Customs Information Center.
Fruits that have authorization to enter China’s local market currently are blueberries, cherries, plums, kiwi, avocado, apple and grapes, the embassy said.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Chile, an export protocol on nectarines was also signed to begin export of the fruit to China this year.
The total export value of nectarines is expected to reach $55 million.
Chilean ambassador to China, Jorge Heine, said due to a growing demand from the Chinese middle class, the prospects of fresh fruit shipments are positive for the period 2017-2018.
Data from a foreign trade report by the Chilean Foreign Ministry said that in 2016 China was the largest trading partner of Chile.
Total trade last year amounted to $31.2 billion, a 0.9 percent increase than in 2015 with China being the top destination for Chilean exports, representing $17 billion, around 4.5 percent more than the previous year.