China is a traditional agricultural country. The import and export trade of food products in Chinese market has been playing an essential role in the national economy. Since the new era, China’s total import and export trade of agricultural products has been expanding, especially after China’s accession to the WTO in 2002.
In the first half of 2019, the import and export of agricultural products in Chinese market reached $108.65 billion, up to 1.4% year on year. The trade deficit reached $35.03 billion, up to 10.6%. China’s import and export structure of agricultural products has also changed a lot. Among all the products, the export of labor-intensive products such as vegetables, fruits, and livestock products has grown rapidly. In contrast, import growth has been relatively slow. In the first half of 2019, purchasing power of Chinese buyers is rising strongly so as to increase the imports of agricultural products in Chinese market，up to $71.84 billion. Its exports of agricultural products reached $36.81 billion.
With the improvement of the openness of China’s agricultural products, the level of free trade is higher and higher. In the future, the total amount of China’s agrarian products trade will still maintain rapid growth. Especially after the financial crisis and the recovery of Chinese market economy, agricultural business, especially importing fruitage and green to china, is facing a better international environment.
The Chinese market prospect of labor-intensive agricultural products such as vegetables, fruits, and aquatic products is promising. According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of China, the value of importing fruit to china in 2018 was 7.62 billion US dollars, an increase of 36% over the previous year. The total import volume exceeded 5.52 million tons, an increase of 25% from a year earlier. Among them, 1.34 million tons products that Chinese buyers consumed were from Vietnam, 1.17 million tons from the Philippines, and 1.02 million tons from Thailand. The import market in Southeast Asia seems to be very popular among Chinese buyers. On the other hand, the main sources of vegetables in Chinese market are concentrated in Asia, North America and Europe. In 2017, the proportion of imports was 40.5%, 31.2% and 18.8% respectively.
The five most fruits export to China are cherry, durian, banana, grape, and orange. Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of the trade negotiation Department of the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, said that many factors are leading to fierce competition among ASEAN countries in exporting fruits to China. The reasons might be the large base of Chinese buyers and ASEAN China Free Trade Area (FTA) make Chinese market more attractive. Besides, the ongoing trade frictions between the United States and China have escalated. China has imposed higher tariffs on fruits from the United States, resulting in China importing more fruits from ASEAN.
China is Thailand’s largest market of fruitage and green export to china. Thailand’s exports of refrigerated, frozen, and dried fruits are worth 85.1 billion baht, up 11% year on year, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Customs.
At present, Malaysia exports food to China including longan, mangosteen, rambutan, litchi, coconut, watermelon, papaya, pineapple, and durian. According to Food to China, the fruits China allows Vietnam to export include pitaya, watermelon, litchi, longan, mango, banana, rambutan, pineapple, and mangosteen. Meanwhile, Food to China also shows that durian, mangosteen, longan, banana, and pineapple are the most significant fruit that Thailand exports to Chinese market.
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