2021-01-26 17:43

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Imported fruits sold at deeply discounted prices after virus ...

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Chinese fruit importers are cutting purchases as the cold market dropped more than half after coronavirus was detected on imported cherries, which may impact exporters from countries in the southern hemisphere.

Shijiazhuang, capital of North China's Hebei Province, which just endured an outbreak that involved hundreds of infections, announced on Sunday the suspension of fruit imports, removal of on-shelf products and sealing stocks. On Saturday, Shijiazhuang detected coronavirus on a batch of imported cherries at a wholesale market. 



Before Shijiazhuang's sales ban, the pricey fruit already faced scrutiny after the inner package of some imported cherries tested positive for COVID-19 in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu Province. 

Imported cherries being sold at deeply discounted prices in Beijing in recent days, roughly one-third of last year's price. 





Wang Li, a Beijing-based imported fruit dealer, told on Monday that his orders dropped 60 percent in the past few days and there was almost no business for cherries. 

Wang imports cherries from Chile and New Zealand. He also sells bananas from Southeast Asian countries and citrus fruits from Australia and New Zealand, such as oranges and grapefruit. 

Chinese Customs have been conducting sampling inspections on imported cherries and other fruits, and Wang is worried that the scrutiny might be heightened, which will definitely slow down import procedures and push up costs. 

"I am negotiating with foreign suppliers to cut some orders or postpone them," Wang said. 

Deliveries to Shijiazhuang have been suspended following the city's sales ban on imported fruits, and it is unclear whether other cities will follow suit. 

Countries in the southern hemisphere are the main suppliers for China in winter due to the opposite season.


The topic of "cherry price plunged" surged to the top of the hot search list, showing the love of cherries among Chinese netizens.



Shijiazhuang is on high alert amid its latest outbreak, and other cities are also facing great epidemic control pressure given sporadic domestic infections. The possibility of testing all imports and circuit-breaker mechanisms cannot be ruled out, health experts said.



Source:globaltimes

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