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Lao Citrus Is Coming! The Export Volume Is Expected To Reach 50,000 Tons Next Year

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On December 28, the General Administration of Customs issued an announcement, in accordance with relevant Chinese laws and regulations and the "Protocol of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on the Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Lao Citrus Fruits to China". From the date onwards, the import of Lao citrus that meets the relevant requirements will be allowed.

The Laotian citrus fruits approved to enter the Chinese market this time include mandarin, pomelo and lemon.

The quarantine requirements announced by the customs show that there are 9 kinds of quarantine pests that China is concerned about, including: spiral whitefly, guava fruit fly, peach fruit fly, Nanyang gluteal mealybug, ocean gluteal mealybug, corn bloodworm, Africa True spider mites, Asian citrus yellow dragon disease and citrus canker.

The customs has made specific requirements on the planting and post-harvest processing procedures of citrus exported from Laos to China. The pomelo exported to China must be bagged during the growth cycle, and the bagging time should be more than 60 days. If the fruit bags are found to be damaged before harvesting, they are not allowed to enter the workshops or factories that process citrus for export to China. Before exporting oranges and lemons to China, they must be cold processed in registered cold processing equipment. The cold treatment index for oranges is 1.67°C or below for 18 consecutive days, and lemons are treated at 3°C or below for 18 days.

There are about 3,620 hectares of citrus plantation in Laos, of which 2,500 hectares (about 70%) are for export, mainly located in Luang Nam Pagoda, Pocho, Xayaburi, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Porikansai, Sa Wan Naji, Champasai and Atape are 9 provinces. It is reported that Laos is expected to export about 50,000 tons of citrus fruits to China in 2022, with a total value of 50 million U.S. dollars.

From January to October 2021, Laos’ total agricultural exports exceeded US$800 million, an increase of 29% over the same period last year. China is the main export market for Laos’ agricultural products, accounting for more than 80% of Laos’ total exports, mainly cassava, bananas, watermelon, sugar cane and rubber.

Up to now, a total of 9 types of Lao agricultural products have signed the bilateral protocol for export to China, namely rice, corn, bananas, watermelon, dried cassava, sweet potatoes, fresh beans, passion fruit and citrus. It is reported that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos and the Chinese Customs are preparing market opening documents for fruits such as durian, longan, dragon fruit and jackfruit. It is expected that these fruits will soon be approved for export to China.

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