Increasing demand in China sweetens fruit export opportunities for Thailand
Rising demand for fruits in Shanghai offers an opportunity for Thailand to boost market share in the Chinese fruit market, the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) said on Tuesday.
The office director-general, Poonpong Naiyanapakorn said China's import of fruits had continued to increase, thanks to economic growth and increase in the people's purchasing power.
Chinese consumers are ready to spend more on foods with high quality and taste, he added.
He said Thailand is the No. 1 fruit exporter to China with a market share of 41.3% followed by Chile with 24.4%. He added that China has high demand for tropical fruits, such as durian, banana, mangosteen, longan and coconut.
So far, the General Administration of Customs China has allowed the import of 22 Thai fruits, namely tamarind, custard apple, papaya, star fruit, guava, rambutan, langsat, sapodilla, passion fruit, mandarin orange, orange, pomelo, pineapple, banana, coconut, jackfruit, longan, durian, mango, lychee, mangosteen and rose apple, he said.
He added that Thai rose apple has 100% market share in China, followed by longan (99.3%), durian (95.3%), mangosteen (86.8%) rambutan (82.4%) and coconut (69.2%).
Thailand can produce a lot of these fruits with high quality compared to other competitors, he said.
However, Poonpong said increasing competition was making it difficult for Thailand to increase market share.
He said there were many new competitors, such as Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Cambodia, Australia and Indonesia.
He added that the market share of existing competitors, such as Myanmar, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Costa Rica, had increased.
These are challenges for Thailand in maintaining market share in China, which is an important fruit export market, he said.
Thailand also has limitations in exporting some fruits, such as berries, grapes, dragon fruit, kiwi, apple, avocado, peach, strawberry, prune and pear. These fruits account for 40.7% of the Chinese fruit market, he added.
Even though Thailand has strong points on fruit quality and taste, increasing competition has forced Thai exporters to strive and maintain current market share in China and the global market, he said.
He said Thailand should observe competitors' situation closely, maintain hygiene and quality standards, and export to other markets, such as the US, Netherlands, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Spain and South Korea.