California citrus will be permitted entry into China more than 14 months after shipments were disallowed due to a discovery of brown rot in some shipments, according to California Citrus Mutual, based in Exeter, CA.
The industry received verbal notice, which was confirmed in writing on Aug. 4, that the Chinese market is now open for California citrus, according to a CCM statement.
"It has been over 14 months since we had official access to one our larger export markets," Joel Nelsen, president of California Citrus Mutual, said in a press release. "The credit for this final agreement must go to USDA/APHIS and their continued efforts to reach a mutually satisfactory goal. Obviously industry members urged a strong response after the apparent agreement last November fell through, but actually USDA and the APHIS team needed little nudging. They recognized the importance of the market and they were steadfast in support of our industry."
The Chinese market is one of the industry's largest export markets and is growing, according to CCM. Each year, 4 million to 5 million cartons are shipped and the number has been increasing with demand growing. South Korea and Canada continue to lead in terms of cartons received, but China is gaining on both as an export destination. The primary varieties shipped are Navel oranges, lemons and Valencia oranges.