Asia Fruit Logistica has started with a return to the location in Hong Kong rather than Bangkok, Thailand. For the first day, it seemed to be a very busy one, with exhibitors being pleased about the amount of traffic from Asian buyers at their booths.
Chinese exhibitors return to the trade show
Last year, Asia Fruit Logistica took place in Bangkok due to still strictly implemented COVID-19 restrictions in China. This meant only a handful of Chinese exhibitors were present. This year, with the show being back in Hong Kong, it's a totally different line-up. Over 200 Chinese companies are exhibiting, in addition to over a hundred from other Asian countries.
Looking at the Chinese exhibitors, it's a mix of growers and shippers focussing on Chinese fruits and vegetables for export markets. This included crops like garlic, ginger, apples, pears, citrus, and grapes. There are a few regional pavilions, including from Gansu. The quality, standardization, and brand awareness of Chinese fresh producing is growing year-on-year, and this shows at the show. The second large categories of companies present are Chinese importers and traders. China's fruit imports continue to grow steadily, and its importance for the global market is also increasing.
Strong season for produce from Oceania
There are many Australian and New Zealand companies. Australian grapes are looking at a strong season this year, thanks to better weather conditions. South Africa received market access for avocadoes from China. It is currently heading towards the end of the season, but many still send small volumes as a trial. The Australian avocado access into India should ease the pressure on the domestic market, should they get all the protocols done in time. Australian berry exporters are looking at more export markets while at the exhibition.
Strong interest from Asian buyers for Latin American produce
El Nina and other weather conditions are challenging productions in different global regions. Chilean berries are negatively affected by too-warm Winter growing conditions. Chinese pomelo production is expected to drop 50% due to excessive rain and heath earlier on in the year. The Chilean pavilion was packed with Asian buyers. Ivan Marimbio, Asoex chairperson, and Claudia Soler, from the Cherry Committee, said they are really happy with the interest.
An Ecuadorian banana grower and exporter to Asia stated the company had a morning full of meetings and a good start to the show. "We have big interest from China and the Philippines for our bananas," he said. Other exhibitors said they had good starts with good interest from across Asia. Some companies said they are happy to receive new orders and potential clients, especially from South Korea.