China has overtaken Japan as the biggest foreign market of Philippine bananas, buying more than 1.1 million tons in 2018. In an interview with Xinhua, PSA Assistant Secretary and Officer-in-Charge Josie Perez said China has bought a total of 1.165 million tons of bananas from the Philippines in 2018, or an increase of 56 percent compared to 2017.
In 2018, she said China's banana imports from the Philippines comprised 37.29 percent of the total banana imports and valued at 496 million U.S. dollars: "China became the number one country importing fresh bananas from the Philippines in 2018.”
Japan was the largest importer of Philippine bananas from 1991 to 2017. Perez said it was the first time that China hit the number one spot, a position that Japan held for nearly three decades. Perez said China's increasing importation of Philippine bananas is a good sign of the growing trade relations between the two neighboring Asian countries: "So, if these agricultural products reach the other Asian countries like China that would be better for our trade.”
Besides bananas, more tropical fruits are entering the Chinese market from the Philippines. Figures from the Chinese government show that China imported more than 2 million tons of tropical fruits from the country in 2017 and 2018.
Tropical fruits like bananas, pineapples, mangoes and coconuts, abound in the Philippines. This southeast Asian country is the world's second-leading exporter of bananas behind Ecuador.
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