Chinese apple-juice concentrate exports to United States continue to rise

By Kristin Churchill
Assistant Editor

Chinese apple-juice concentrate exports to the United States are dramatically increasing and will continue to do so, an industry expert said.

Haiyan (Maggie) Xie, of New York’s Haisheng USA Inc., said Chinese concentrate exports to the United States increased 90 percent from 84,634 tons in January to June 2003 to 161,359 tons in January to June 2004. That increase follows a 96 percent increase in Chinese concentrate exports to the U.S. market from 2002 to 2003.

“The most increased market is the U.S.,” Xie said. “And the exports will continue to expand.”

In 2004, about 45 percent of China’s 506,000 tons of concentrate is expected to be exported to the United States. In 2003, 39 percent of Chinese concentrate exports went to the U.S. market.

China also exports concentrate to six other major countries: Russia, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Australia and Canada. From January to June 2003 compared to that same time in 2004, China’s exports to Russia decreased 24.5 percent to 28,314 tons; in the Netherlands exports increased to 27,742 tons, or 8.2 percent; in Japan exports increased 31.1 percent, or 27,588 tons; exports decreased 39 percent in Germany to 19,767 tons; exports to Australia increased 20.5 percent, or 16,577 tons; and exports to Canada increased to 15,906 tons, or 19.7 percent.

China’s Crop Outlook

Chinese growers are expecting a crop of 24.3 million tons in 2004. That number is the same number as last year’s crop and up 4.4 percent from the six-year average.

Chinese growers most abundant apple is Red Fuji, which makes up 60 percent of production. Guoguang makes up 7 percent of production, and a variety of others make up the remaining 33 percent.

Growers in China’s Shaanxi province are trying to grow a new high-acid variety – Granny Smith. Growers started this variety in 2001 and their first harvest is expected in 2007.

Of China’s eight major apple-producing provinces, Shaanxi is the second largest. About 5.5 million tons of apples, an 8.3 percent increase compared to 2003, is expected from the province in 2004. Growers in Shandong, the largest apple-producing province, expect a 5.72 million ton crop in 2004. That number is 15 percent lower than the 2003 crop. Xie faulted an end-of-April frost for the decrease.

The six other provinces have the following outlook for 2004: Henan’s crop is predicted to increase 5.6 percent to 2.92 million tons; Hebei’s crop will increase 5 percent to 2.31 million tons; Shanxi’s crop will increase 5.5 percent, or to 2.09 million tons; Liaoning expects a crop of 1.23 million tons, an increase of 2.9 percent; Gansu’s crop is predicted to rise 1.3 percent to 924,000 tons; and Jiangsu’s crop is expected to increase 2.23 percent, or to 555,500 tons.

U.S. Trade Deficit

As Chinese apple-juice concentrate exports to the United States have increased, so has the U.S. apple trade deficit.

The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) estimated the United States was 105.4 million bushels of apples below a trade balance in 2003. That number comes from taking the estimated net U.S. fresh apple trade, 14.4 million bushels, and subtracting the estimated total imported apple-juice concentrate, equivalent to 119.8 million bushels. For the net U.S. fresh apple trade, USApple estimated the United States exported 24.7 million bushels and imported 10.3 million bushels in 2003.

In 2002, the U.S. apple trade deficit was 92.66 million bushels. Five years ago, the U.S. apple trade deficit was 66.07 million bushels.

In 2003, 39 percent of China’s concentrate exports went to the United States. About 45 percent of China’s 460,000 metric tons of concentrate is expected to be exported to the United States in 2004.



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