Home » Customs & Trade, Maritime » Carriers note dip in PH shipments following China’s tighter quarantine rules

Philippine exports of perishables are declining due to stringent quarantine requirements being imposed by China on local fruit shipments.

Intra-Asia liner MCC Transport said the new procedures have affected future bookings.

The stricter quarantine inspections followed China’s recent discovery of pests in some Philippine fruit exports, particularly bananas. Philippine fruit export leaders have said banana shipments were rotting in Chinese ports. Since the new rules’ adoption, exporters estimate they have lost about P1 billion.

With total shipments worth $470.96 million last year, bananas are the Philippines’s second-largest agricultural commodity export after coconuts, according to government data. China is the Philippines’ second-largest banana market after Japan.

“The quarantine inspection procedures implemented in China have affected future bookings of perishable cargo to China,” MCC Transport country managing director Naresh Potty told PortCalls.

“We are working closely with our customers to minimize their impact, including offering re-shipment options to other markets,” Potty said, adding they are also closely monitoring the situation and listening to their customers’ needs.

“The situation is dynamic but unfortunately, it is not that easy for a shipping company to re-deploy assets in the short term. We are equally affected and hope the situation normalizes soon,” he said.

American President Lines (APL) also confirmed declining volumes, particularly from the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA).

“We can confirm that we have seen a recent decline in volume of banana exports from Davao to North Asia. This is in line with what the PBGEA has observed from its members,” the Singapore office of APL’s mother firm, Neptune Orient Lines, said in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor the demand situation, while we work closely with our customers to understand the issues they face,” the statement issued to PortCalls added.

The Department of Agriculture recently sent experts to China to look for ways to resolve delays involving banana exports.

Tensions between China and the Philippines began in early April when Philippine authorities spotted several Chinese fishermen in Scarborough Shoal, a territory also claimed by China. Soon after the new quarantine requirements took effect.

Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam are also claiming parts of South China Sea, which is believed to hold vast quantities of oil and gas beneath it.

Photo of Green Banana by anankkml


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