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LatAm countries target China with their fruit

Staff writer |
Rapid enlargement of the well-off middle class in China has turned out to be an attraction for Latin American fruit producers.

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Mexico is the third largest berry exporter in the world.
They wish to export what they call luxury fruits to the China market in large quantities.

Mexico's blackberry and raspberry producers hope that the China market will make up around 20 percent of their exports in the future, the President of the Mexico's National Association of Berry Exporters (Aneberries), Mario Andrade, told Xinhua.

The sales of blackberry and raspberry this year will amount to around $50 million, nowhere near the amount Mexican producers annually sells to its main market, the United States, which makes up 85 percent of Mexico's exports.

However, 2016 is only the second year in which Mexico exports blackberries and raspberries to China. The two countries signed a phytosanitary protocol on export and import of the fruits in 2014.

In 2015, when the agreement formally went into effect, exports to China only amounted to 70 tons because the trade opened in January, when the production season was practically half way through in Mexico, which usually runs from October to April, said Andrade.

The year 2015 saw Mexican raspberries and blackberries marketed in China through restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and distribution companies, according to Andrade.

People can find 170 grams a pack of the Mexican berries in shops for an average price of around 80 yuan ($12), Andrade said.

According to the federal government, Mexico is the third largest berry exporter in the world. However, it is not the only country in Latin America to export berries to China.

More people will be able to afford those imported fruits, as the Chinese government aims to double the people's average annual income by the year 2020. This figure in 2015 stood at 21,966 yuan (3,338 U.S. dollars).

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