China is delaying imports of Thai produce from red-zone provinces
China’s custom authorities are imposing more stringent COVID-19 testing measures on imports, and there has been a big impact on Thai produce as some Chinese companies have not yet placed their usual orders, which are around one million ton, for shipment next month.
China’s produce imports are facing delays, as customs authorities at ports across the country have to test incoming shipments for COVID-19. The measures began in mid-2020, though there is no evidence to suggest COVOD-19 can be transmitted through fresh produce.
The chairman of the Durian and Mangosteen Exporter Association of Thailand, Panuwat Maikaew (ภานุวัชร์ ไหมแก้ว) said that the Eastern provinces of Thailand, Chantaburi, Trat, and Rayong are being categorized as the highly controlled “red zones”, which is affecting their exports, especially durian. Parts of the previous shipments are still at China’s import checkpoints, since all imported fruit needs certification.
According to the commerce ministry, data from 2019 shows that China is the largest importer of Thai durian, over 71 percent, followed by Hong Kong at around 15 percent and Vietnam at around 12 percent.