China challenge is manageable for US cherries | Article

Chinese importers are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for American cherries this season as major cities gradually emerge from lockdown

Despite the obvious challenges facing US cherry imports this season, the Chinese trade is not delisting the product.

“It will still be a priority for us this year,” said Owen Ou, managing director of major Chinese fruit importer, Riverking. “Cherries are a key part of our business, and North American fruits occupy a particular market window for imported cherries. »

Giddings Fruit has been importing American cherries into China for several years through its Shanghai office. This year, it is looking to import a similar volume.

“We will import about 100 containers from the United States to Asia this season. Last year we also had a similar volume,” said Gonzalo Matamala, Managing Director Asia and RPC at Giddings Fruit’s Shanghai office.

Still, Matamala noted that the high retaliatory tariff still imposed on American cherries could be an even bigger challenge this year, and Giddings plans to divert some of the volume to neighboring Southeast Asian markets.

“It’s a bit worrying because the willingness to pay a premium for imported fruit could be affected in China due to the slowing economy,” he explained. “In that sense, the high tariff will undoubtedly have an impact this season.”

There are reasons for optimism, however, as Shanghai and other Chinese cities begin to ease their lockdowns.

“Fortunately, the peak of our supply will be in July. Shanghai is gradually opening up now, so market demand should have picked up somewhat by then,” Ou said.

Frutacloud received its first air cargo shipment of Northwest Cherries in Jiangnan Market of Guangzhou on June 16th. In a statement on its WeChat account, the company reported good quality of arrival on the shipment of Chelan cherries. Frutacloud said peak North West cherry arrivals will occur in July and August.

Despite the challenges facing Northwestern Cherries in China this year, the company said China remains a very important market for its US suppliers and affirmed that it is fully committed to its long-term partners.

“Although the epidemic situation is still serious, Frutacloud will send specialists to the production area. Our team members have successfully arrived in the United States to ensure the quality and stability of supply,” said Frutacloud. “Each batch will be required to be sterilized and other related pandemic prevention measures taken before departure from origin and after arrival at destination to ensure that food safety on the consumer side is flawless. .”

Both Riverking and Giddings Fruit agree that effective distribution and collaboration with customers is very important to running a successful campaign.

“We work hand-in-hand with Chinese retailers and importers to provide American cherries with consistent quality,” Matamala said. “One thing we’ve learned during the pandemic is that distribution channels are crucial to getting our fruit, so we’re going to focus on that to ensure the flow of goods.

For the same reason, Riverking will prioritize retail channels this season. “We distribute on JD.com, Freshippo and others,” Ou said. “For American cherries, the retail channels take on more importance as we want to ensure the cherries stay entirely in a cold chain environment until they reach consumers. Wholesale markets will therefore see less fruit this season.

This article is from the June edition of Asiafruit Magazine, which includes a special feature on cherries. The issue is available on the Asiafruit app on Apple and Android or contact subscriptions to order your copy at [email protected]

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