New systems have been put in place to facilitate the growth of lychee exports out of key the growing region of Guangdong province

Investment into the export supply chain is paying dividends for the Chinese lychee industry with more fruit reaching more markets as a result.

According to a report from China Daily, data from the Guangdong Sub-administration of the General Administration of Customs shows lychee exports out of the key growing region of Guangdong province have grown 66.7 per cent year-on-year to 7,014 tonnes from April to June 2023. This includes 960kg recently exported to the Netherlands.

According to the same data the value of Guangdong lychee exports between April to June 2023 have also grown 45.9 per cent year-on-year.

Zhou Xichuan, general manager of Guangzhou Anhe Agricultural Development, said local customs opened a green channel to speed up exports and provided 24-hour customs clearance services.

“Exports of lychee have high requirements for storage conditions, Customs clearance time and logistics transportation as the fruit is prone to browning when stored at room temperature for 24 hours in summer,” said Zhou.

“Opening the green channel not only helps save time for preservation of lychee, but also helps us get more orders from international customers.”

To further facilitate trade, local rural and agricultural affairs authorities have held promotional events at home and abroad with lychee produced in Guangdong now exported to more than 20 countries and regions.

Meanwhile, China Southern Airlines introduced a special airfreight price for Guangdong lychee exports, with discounts of up to 35 per cent.

Under a digital logistics system for lychee exports set by leading Chinese courier SF Express, which covers 28 countries and regions, the fruit can reach Kenya two days after being sent from Guangzhou in Guangdong.

“We are committed to extending the sales radius and marketing cycle of Chinese lychees both domestically and internationally,” said Chen Yaohua, chairman of Guangdong Sinolychee Agricultural Group.

The company’s exports of lychee touched 4,300 tonnes this year, with exports to countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership bloc doubling, according to Chen.

“Keeping the freshness of lychee on shelves is still the focus in exports as it takes some time for the agricultural product to be exported and sold in the market,” Chen said.

Local Customs officers have also worked with growers and exporters to instruct them on quarantine and technical training, as well as introducing new preservation technologies for the export of lychee.

“Customs have guided us to introduce new cold chain technologies, helping extend the storage period of lychee to 30-40 days to ensure freshness for foreign customers,” said Lu Yajin, head of Liangdong Risheng Lychee Cooperative in Lianjiang of Zhanjiang, Guangdong.