Nearly one-third of China's fruit imports last year came from Thailand
Thailand is the top supplier of fruits to China, exporting a total of 2.17 million tonnes worth US$4.9 billion (168 billion baht) last year, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Saturday.
That was a 3.72% increase from a year earlier, he said.
China imported fruits worth a total of $14.6 billion (500.8 billion baht) last year, according to the spokesman. Thailand accounted for nearly one-third.
Citing data from the Thai Ministry of Commerce, Anucha said that the top five Thai fruits imported by China were: banana, young coconut, durian, dragon fruit, and longan.
About 95% of China’s imported durians last year were from Thailand. China imported 523,000 tonnes of young coconuts from Thailand, the largest of its imports last year.
Thailand exported fruits to China in various forms – fresh, frozen, dried, and processed – through three modes of transportation: 51% by ship, 48% by land, and less than 1% by air, according to the Commerce Ministry.
Shipping by land has gained more popularity among Thai exporters as it is cheaper.
Anucha said that the statistics showed that China still has high demand for fruits from around the world as it is a large market. For him, this was a good opportunity for Thai farmers and business operators to improve the quality of Thai fruits for export.
He said the government, in collaboration with many local and foreign agencies, is pushing for more Thai fruits to be exported to China, with focus on the quality and speed of shipping.
A high-ranking team from the Thai Ministry of Commerce visited China’s Yunnan province in late March to observe border checkpoints through which fruits from Thailand pass before entering China. The visit was part of efforts to facilitate exports of more Thai fruits to China this year, the spokesman said.