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Impacts of RCEP Agreement on China’s Imported Fruit Industry

A forum called “New Opportunities for China’s Fruit Industry Under the Implementation of RCEP agreement” was hold on May 25, 2022. On the forum, Zhang Juan, a researcher from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics shared her insights into the impacts of RCEP agreement* on China’s imported fruit industry.

*Notes: RCEP agreement is short for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which has been signed   among 15 countries, namely, 10 ASEAN members, together with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. As per the ASEAN Secretariat, the Agreement entered into effect among the first   batch of countries on Jan 1, 2022.

Overview of China’s Fruit Import from RCEP Member Countries

From 2017 to 2021, the total import value of fruits in China increased from 5.96 billion US dollars to 13.9 billion dollars with a YoY growth rate of 23.6%. In terms of the value of fruits imported from RCEP members, it increased from 3.48 billion US dollars in 2017 to 9.87 billion US dollars in 2021. In another word, 71% of the fruits imported to China was from RCEP member countries in 2021, which could explain how important RCEP member countries are to China’s fruit industry.

fruit-import-china.png

Performance of RCEP Member Countries Among China’s Top 20 Imported Fruits

In 2021, the import value of the top 20 fruit categories accounted for 93% of the total fruit imports in China. The top 10 fruit categories took over 82% of the total fruit imports, among which “08106000 fresh durian” and “08092900 other fresh cherries” summed up 44% of the total import value.

Zhang Juan explained that the import value of fruits listed in top 10 all exceeded 450 million US dollars. The import value of fresh durian (top 1) reached 4 billion US dollar. The import value of fruits listed from top 11 to 20 was within the range from 100 to around 260 million US dollars.

Top 20 imported fruit, by import value (from the most to the least)

No.

HS Code

Commodity name

1

08106000

Fresh durians

2

08092900

Other fresh cherries

3

08039000

Other bananas, fresh or dried, excluding plantains

4

08045030

Mangosteens, fresh or dried

5

08109030

Fresh longan

6

08119090

Other fruits & nuts, frozen, not elsewhere specified (n.e.s.)

7

08105000

Fresh kiwifruit

8

08061000

Fresh grapes

9

08109080

Fresh dragon fruit

10

08011200

Coconuts in the inner shell (endocarp)

11

08051000

Oranges, fresh or dried

12

08104000

Fresh Cranberries, bilberries and other fruits of genus Vaccinium

13

08134010

Longans and longan pulps, dried

14

08094000

Fresh Plums and sloes

15

08081000

Apples, fresh

16

08043000

Pineapples, fresh or dried

17

08054000

Grapefruit and pomelos, fresh or dried

18

08109090

Fresh fruits, n.e.s.

19

20089990

Prepared/preserved fruits & nuts & other edible part of plants, n.e.s.

20

08044000

Avocados, fresh or dried

Speaking of RCEP member countries’ fruit import performance, these countries have significant advantages in exporting the top 10 fruit categories, excluding “08092900 other fresh cherries, to China due to the rich natural resource, etc. For example, Thailand has the advantage in exporting fresh durian, fresh longan, etc. to China. While, Vietnam has the advantage in dragon fruit. View the attachment attached in the end of this article for detailed performance of RCEP member countries in the top 10 fruit categories.

Country

Fruit category with advantages in exportation

Thailand

08106000 fresh durians

08045030 mangosteens, fresh or dried

08109030 fresh longan

08119090 other fruits & nuts, frozen, n.e.s.

08011200 coconuts in the inner shell (endocarp)

Vietnam

08109080 fresh dragon fruit

Malaysia

08119090 other fruits & nuts, frozen, n.e.s.

Indonesia

08045030 mangosteens, fresh or dried

08011200 coconuts in the inner shell (endocarp)

Almost all ASEAN countries

08039000 other bananas, fresh or dried, excluding plantains

08011200 coconuts in the inner shell (endocarp)

New Zealand

08092900 other fresh cherries

08105000 fresh kiwifruit

Australia

08092900 other fresh cherries

08061000 fresh grape

South Korea

08061000 fresh grape

Forecast

Zhang Juan assumes the implementation of RCEP agreement is assumed to boost the fruit imports from these member countries by tariff reduction and customs clearance facilitation. In the future, the price of imported fruit will be cheaper, which will be an impact to China’s domestic fruit industry. Chinese consumers will see more varieties and more foreign brands on the market.

Attachment: Performance of RCEP member countries in China’s top 10 imported fruit categories (marked in red) (unit: million US dollar)

Notes: The actual date may vary sightly due to rounding.

  • Top 1: fresh durians (08106000)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Thailand

552

1,095

1,604

2,305

4,205

Vietnam

/

/

/

/

0.287

Total

552

1,095

1,604

2,305

4,205

  • Top 2: other fresh cherries (08092900)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Chile

545

1,127

1,232

1,526

1,877

US

171

101

88.7

80.6

66

Canada

26

39.6

36.8

15.7

17

Argentina

/

/

1.7

16.8

15

New Zealand

22

18

13.9

9

10

Australia

6

19

17.6

17.5

8

Uzbekistan

/

0.6

3.8

0.5

0.07

Kyrghizstan

0.24

0.3

0.9

0.6

0.05

Tajikistan

0.27

0.26

0.5


/

Turkey

0.009

0.055

4

6.9

/

Total

771

1,306

1,400

1,674

1,993

  • Top 3: other bananas, fresh or dried, excluding plantains (08039000)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Philippines

410

601

587

452

489

Cambodia

/

/

8

122

203

Vietnam

24

68

121

116

160

Ecuador

99

150

298

208

137

Laos

0.027

0.02

4

35

39

Thailand

22

27

16

11

9

Myanmar

19

36

30

4

1

Indonesia

2.5

9.8

7

0.6

0.18

Costa Rica

0.88

4.6

11

0.5

0.16

Colombia

0.2

0.9

13

3

0.07

The rest

0.03

0.08

0.05

0.34

0.012

Total

579

897

1,094

952

1,040

  • Top 4: mangosteens, fresh or dried (08045030)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Thailand

146.3

321

736

585.2

698.9

Indonesia

/

21

49

85

69.5

Malaysia

0.76

7

10

7.5

0.6

Vietnam

/

/

/

0.06

/

Total

147

349

795

677.8

769

  • Top 5: fresh longan (08109030)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Thailand

248.6

177.6

353.9

488.6

705.1

Vietnam

189

188

71

3

0.5

Laos

0.1

/

/

/

/

Total

437.7

365.6

424.9

491.6

705.6

  • Top 6: other fruits & nuts, frozen, not elsewhere specified (n.e.s.) (08119090)

The countries listed are top 10 countries in 2021 in descending order.

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Thailand

50

103

170

201

329.6

Malaysia

18.5

41

67

99

186

Canada

9

13

15

18

23

Sweden

21

18

13

13

13

Chile

10

11

12

8.6

7.5

Vietnam

0.6

0.5

1.5

11

6.5

Latvia

5

7

8

7

6

Ukraine

1.6

2.8

9.5

13

4

Poland

1.3

2

3

1.6

3

Belarus

0.055

0.11

0.7

4.7

2

The rest

13

14.6

10

8.7

8.4

Total

130

213

310

385.6

589

  • Top 7: fresh kiwifruit (08105000)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

New Zealand

296

358

392

407

516

Italy

31

20

24.4

27

24

Chile

30.6

26

33.7

16

9

Greece

3

3.6

3.4

3

1

France

3.6

3

0.9

/

/

Total

364

411

455

453

550

  • Top 8: fresh grapes (08061000)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Chile

222

268

248

260

182

Australia

130

140

181

185

161

Peru

134

113

159

143

143

South Africa

45

25.5

27

27

27

India

6.7

5

13

10

10

South Korea

0.088

1.3

4

7.4

9

US

52

32.5

6

9

4

New Zealand

0.0002

/

/

/

0.001

Spain

/

/

0.036

0.16

0.17

Egypt

0.1

1.3

4

0.4

0.00014

Mexico

0.04

/

0.2

0.26

/

Taiwan, China

0.008

/

0.014

0.00055

/

Total

590

586

644

643

535

  • Top 9: fresh dragon fruit (08109080)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Vietnam

389

396

361.7

553

526.7

Taiwan, China

0.2

0.2

0.5

0.2

0.08

Peru

/

0.0004

/

/

/

Total

389

396

362

553

527

  • Top 10: coconuts in the inner shell (endocarp) (08011200)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Thailand

62

129

201

190

284

Indonesia

80

49

33

70

117

Vietnam

15

22

48

29

42

Philippines

6

2

3

6

9

Malaysia

0.05

0.06

0.2

0.6

0.1

Sri Lanka

0.009

/

0.007

/

/

India

2.6

/

/

/

/

Myanmar

0.06

/

/

/

/

Total

166

203

286

295

452

Data Source: China’s GACC data query platform.


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