Cambodian Mangoes Prove to Be Hot Item in China
The first shipment of Cambodian mangoes to arrive in China late last month proved to be a major hit. Four of the six shipping containers delivered to Hebei province’s Xinfadi Wholesale Market sold out immediately.
The success of the Kingdom’s first mango foray into China was well worthy of a celebration and a ceremony was indeed held on June 1 at the market to mark the occasion. It was attended by Cambodian ambassador to China, Khek Cai Mealy Sysoda.
Yang Jianfei, the spokesperson for the market, said at the ceremony: “Everyone at the welcoming ceremony was amazed at the speed of sales. We have three or four companies in our market who have already established close relations with Cambodian orchards. Cambodian mangoes will re-enter the market in August and September and can be sold until May or June in the subsequent year. In August we expect much larger volumes of Cambodian mangoes to enter the Chinese market.”
Also speaking at the ceremony was Mi Yalin, the chairman of the board at the market, who said the shipment represented a new chapter in Cambodia-China relations.
Mangoes and bananas are currently the only Cambodian fruits cleared for export to China, with Cambodian bananas making up around 30 percent of China’s total banana imports.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia exported a total of 156,724 tonnes of fresh mangoes to international markets in the first five months of 2021. This represented a 255 percent increase from the same period last year.
Besides China, Cambodia sent shipments of mangoes to Vietnam, Korea, Singapore and Kuwait.
Last week, Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi said China would continue to increase its imports of Cambodian agricultural products, especially milled rice and mangoes. Currently, Cambodia is assessing having Palin longans, durian, dragon fruits and bird saliva (the binding agent in the traditional dish, bird’s nest soup) approved for export to China.
Last October, Cambodia and China signed a free trade agreement which was expected to increase Cambodian exports to China by 25 percent. The two countries are hoping to increase their bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2023. In 2019, Cambodia exported $1.01 billion worth of goods to China.
While mango and banana exports to China have taken centre stage as of late, food products represent only a sliver of total Cambodian exports to China.
In 2019, artificial fur represented the largest Cambodian export, accounting for $252.96 million. This was followed by apparel which topped out at $197.45 million.
Cereals were the top food export, representing $156.23 million. Much further down the line were the next food-related exports: milling products, malt, starches and wheat gluten, which accounted for $20.37 million.
Looking at the latest available data, bilateral trade between Cambodia and China increased by 19.7 percent to $3 billion during the first four months of this year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Exports to China increased by 42 percent to $424 million, while imports increased by a more modest 16.7 percent to $2.58 billion – resulting in a trade deficit of $2.156 billion.
Source from: Brian Badzmierowski (2021). Cambodian Mangoes Prove to Be Hot Item in China. Retrieved from: Khmer Times, Business(June 15, 2021). https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50874379/cambodian-mangoes-prove-to-be-hot-item-in-china/