The latest rift between China and Australia saw Australian cherries being panned as “inferior” by the Chinese state media in the latest trade row with the country’s biggest export partner.
Consequently, Australia’s share of cherries in the Chinese export market has dramatically dropped as buyers now prefer Chilean fruit, according to Global Times reports.
With the wine, seafood and timber industries being targeted amidst the havoc of trade issues, Australian cherries are Beijing’s latest subject.
Given that the trading relationship between the two countries takes up to 30 per cent of Australia’s market, this latest move has left Australian producers anxious.
Sales manager at Wandin Valley Farms in Victoria, Tim Jones, told media that Australian cherries are “the best in the world”. However, as China comprised 40 per cent of the business’s exports and it was worrying.
According to Mr Jones, “China is probably our main market as an industry for fresh cherries. We’re still able to trade gently, and we’re just trying to keep a lid on things, and try to keep our industry moving in the right direction.”
A fruit trader revealed in Global Times that, “The share of Australian cherries in Chinese market … has dropped due to the inferior quality of the product given the reserved seasonality. The taste and quality of Australian cherries is not as good as it once was.”
The trader then added that Chilean cherries have the largest share in the Chinese market, with better quality and lower price.
As of, 30 per cent of Australian cherries are exported to more than 30 countries in a highly competitive international market. Aside from China, most exports are sent to Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.