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China has become an increasingly valuable market for Laotian bananas as the commodity powers the country’s growing agricultural exports.

According to a report from the Laotian Times, bananas were the country’s most valuable agricultural export with US$225.33m worth of fruit sent to China 2021. Comparatively, Laos exported US$900m worth of agricultural products in total for 2021.

Supply chain disruption caused by Covid-19 has provided challenges for some of China’s traditional major banana suppliers such as the Philippines and Latin America. Laos has been able to capitalise on the gap in the market.

Towards the end of 2021 China granted access to Laotian citrus and passionfruit, which is set to provide a further boost to agricultural exports.

Access was granted to oranges, pomelo, and lemons and with some 3,600ha of production area, Laos’ citrus industry is eager to follow in the footsteps of bananas.

Approximately 70 per cent of citrus production is dedicated to export and Laos has revealed plans to export over 50,000 tonnes of citrus to China in 2022.

Laos’ Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said next it hopes to gain access to China for durian, longan, dragon fruit, and jackfruit.