Hong Kong imports from US recover in 2023 growing 20 per cent
A recent USDA report has identified Hong Kong as a potential opportunity for US exporters noting a match in consumer habits and US produce, as well as the country’s reliance on imports for fresh fruit products.
According to the report, Hong Kong consumers are health conscious and eat fruit regularly. As world travellers, they are interested in a wide variety of fruit and are not as price sensitive as other markets, preferring fruit in season and of high-quality.
The report said, “fresh fruit from the United States is uniquely positioned to make its mark in this market as it enjoys a good reputation for safety and quality.”
Currently, Hong Kong’s major fruit suppliers include Chile for cherries, Thailand for durians, Peru for grapes and cranberries, and Japan for strawberries and apples.
Hong Kong also has a strong re-export practice and facilitates trade with its neighbouring countries including China and Macau. The USDA said, “In 2022, Hong Kong exported US$2.6bn fruits (or 70 per cent of total fruit imports) to other markets and retained US$1bn (or 30 per cent of total fruit imports) for local consumption.”
Despite how integral imports are, high prices and disruptions in shipping logistics saw Hong Kong’s global fresh fruit imports decrease 18 per cent to US$3.7bn in 2022 compared to 2021. After the border reopened in 2023, US fresh fruit exports began to recover, growing 20 per cent in the first ten months of 2023. However, overall imports remained in decline.
However, since the reopening, Hong Kong’s economy has been in recovery. The USDA projected it will grow 3.2 per cent in 2023 with seasonal fresh produce and specialty goods remaining popular.