According to Nanning Customs, a train carrying 196.99 tons of Thai mangosteens valued at 3.447 million Chinese yuan ($486,700) and 34.56 tons of Thai durians valued at 933,000 yuan ($132,000) reached Pingxiang Railway Port in Guangxi province on May 21. This marks the first time that Thai fruit has entered China via the new cross-border rail service.
Following inspection and quarantine, the fruits were rapidly distributed onward to various cities throughout China. From June, it is estimated that approximately 4,000 tons of Thai fruit will arrive at Pingxiang Railway Port in this manner each month.
As mangosteens and durians are both very sensitive to temperature fluctuations during transit, China Railway Nanning Group Co. Ltd., the company responsible for this rail shipment, employed refrigerated containers to ensure that produce quality was preserved to the highest degree possible. A green channel has also been established at Pingxiang Railway Port to increase the efficiency of customs clearance and satisfy the growing demand from the fruit industry for rapid movement along the supply chain.
Pingxiang Railway Port is a key hub for trade between China and ASEAN countries, directly connecting China’s rail system with that of Vietnam. By drawing upon the newly linked rail network, other countries in the region will also be able to export their tropical fruit to China via Vietnam.
Since the port was approved by China’s General Administration of Customs as an official entry point for fruit imports in February 2020, the cross-border fruit trade has been witnessing vigorous growth. In the first four months of 2020, approximately 4,420 tons of fruit valued at 25.91 million yuan ($3,659,000) were imported into China via the port, including fresh dragon fruit, jackfruit and mangos.
At present, 22 types of fresh fruit from Thailand are permissible for import into China. These include tamarind (Tamarindus indica), sugar apple (Annona squamosa), papaya (Carica papaya), carambola (Averrhoa carambola), guava (Psidium guajava), rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), rose apple (Syzygium samarangense), jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), long kong (Lansium parasiticum), pineapple (Ananas comosus), sapodilla (Manilkara zapota), banana (Musa sp.), passion fruit (Passiflora caerulea), coconut (Cocos nucifera), longan (Dimocarpus longan), durian (Durio zibethinus), mango (Mangifera indica), lychee (Litchi chinensis), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), orange (Citrus sinensis) and pomelo (Citrus maxima).