Uzbekistan made pomegranate its strategic priority, which EastFruit analysed in detail here. It also very important that besides supporting production, Uzbekistan is also thinking of opening new markets for fruits. According to ProduceReport, on April 27, China’s General Administration of Customs announced that pomegranates from Uzbekistan meeting the stipulated phytosanitary requirements would be permissible for export to China.
According to EastFruit, Uzbekistan exports only 10 to 15 thousand tons of fresh pomegranates per year and most of it goes to Russia and other countries of ex-USSR. On the other hand, China is the largest global importer and imports, together with Hong Kong, pomegranates for a little more than $1 billion.
EastFruit analysts compare the trends in pomegranate trade to these of global fruit bestseller avocado – the global trade of these fruits is indeed growing very fast. “It is a very rewarding to see Uzbekistan focusing on trendy products. Global pomegranate market is growing fast and having China – largest global buyer, as a neighbour, suggests that Uzbekistan is making a good move. However, Uzbekistan would have to develop a large-scale commercial production, storage and handling of newer varieties to match expectations of Chinese buyers, which will certainly take some time and will pose some technological challenges” says Andriy Yarmak, economist of Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).
It should be noted that the pomegranate supply season in Uzbekistan typically lasts from September to November, which partially overlaps with that in China (July–November). Furthermore, pomegranate production in Uzbekistan is focused on local varieties, which may be less appealing to Chinese consumers.
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