While Chile has been selling prunes to the Chinese market since 2010 only tenderized fruit has been allowed until now.
According to the Chile Prunes Association, Chinese authorities have finally authorized imports of prunes that have been dried under “natural conditions”.
“Currently, 90% of prunes imported by China from the rest of the world are of this ‘natural condition’ type, which is why this new understanding between AQSIQ and SAG opens an important market for this product, which makes us very content with the new possibility of exports opened in that country,” says Chilean Agriculture Minister Carlos Furche.
Demand for health products is on the rise in China, bringing with it demand for dried fruits. Chinese consumers have historically eaten local dried ‘Wumei’ prunes, but in recent years there have been imports of the Western-style prunes Chile and other countries produce which are called ‘Ximei’ in the Asian nation.
“Our country, once again, is opening international markets with strong arguments for quality, seriousness and reliability. This news allows us to substantially increase our export potential in China,” said Chile Prunes president Pedro Pablo Diaz.
“Chile has an FTA which allows us to have a 0% tariff, and just this year California will produce 40% of its normal production, so availability of exports will be much lower and consequently, there will be a greater opportunity for Chile,” added Chile Prunes executive director Andrés Rodríguez.