The first 1,080 boxes of Sunkist oranges from the United States arrived in central China’s Hubei Province Tuesday [6 February 2018], marking Hubei’s first direct import of American fruit. Fruit imported from abroad normally arrives in China’s coastal areas including Shanghai, Xiamen and Guangzhou and is transported to inland areas later…Full Article: Xinhua Feb 2018

Key Point

  • Wuhan, Hubei Province, the city which imported U.S. Sunkist oranges, is trying to position itself as an inland trade hub for fresh fruit.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2017, freight train service between Yichang, Hubei Province, and Hamburg was launched. The inaugural export shipment departed from Yichang with fresh oranges and other non-agricultural products. The freight train will reach Hamburg, Germany, via Wuhan, Russia, Belarus and Poland.
  • In October 2017, the Wuhan-Europe freight train route began exporting food products (e.g. liquor) to Duisburg, Germany.
  • In January 2017, China Eastern Airlines announced that it would open a Wuhan-Sydney flight route on a tri-weekly basis. With the addition of three weekly flights from Sydney to Wuhan, China Eastern Airlines now has 26 weekly flights between China and Sydney.
  • In April 2016, freight train service between Lyon, France, and Wuhan, China (via Alataw Pass in Xinjiang Region), began operation. The new train route, part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, was expected to transport agricultural goods and wine (among others).
  • In August 2014, China lifted its ban on Californian citrus.
  • In April 2014, Hong Kong customs officers seized 5,200 oranges with falsified Sunkist product labels in Yuen Long, New Territories. In addition, 112,000 unused fake labels were also seized. It was later determined that the oranges (thicker skin, more sour) originated from North Africa.
  • In April 2013, Chinese authorities abruptly banned Californian citrus imports over the detection of Phytophthora syringae or brown rot in shipments.
  • In 2012, China launched the Wuhan-Europe freight train cargo route.
  • In March 2000, Sunkist exported 1,080 cartons of citrus from Long Beach, California, to Dalian, Liaoning Province.
  • In August 1997, it was reported that Sunkist oranges were being illegally re-exported from Hong Kong to mainland China. Although legal in Honk Kong, China had banned Californian oranges over pest (e.g. fruit fly) concerns. At the time, Sunkist oranges were sold at three times the price of Chinese oranges in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
  • Founded in 1893 and headquartered in Southern California, Sunkist is a major U.S. citrus producer whose product line includes oranges (e.g. navel, Valencia, cara cara navel, blood oranges), lemons (e.g. Meyer, Eureka, Lisbon, variegated pink), limes (Persian, Key, Finger), grapefruit (multiple varieties), tangerines (multiple varieties), and mandarins (multiple varieties).

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