Analysis on Consumption Structure of China’s Sweet Potato Products and Trading of Domestic and Foreign Markets Part 2

Publish time: 30th August, 2016      Source: CCM
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    4 International Trades of China's Sweet Potato Products   


  4.1 Overview of Foreign Trade of China's Sweet Potato Products


  According to UNFAO, China began to export sweet potato products since 1966, started with very small amount, while up until 2013, the total exports amounted to 5.585 million tonnes, with the export value of USD71.7947 million, among which the export volume from 1966 to 1980 was3,500 to 6,000 tonnes, with the average annual export volume of 4,920 tonnes and average annual export value of USD1.024 million.


  The export volume was more than 50 thousand tonnes in 1982, and more than 100 thousand tonnes in 1983. In 1985 to 1994, annual average export volume amounted to 487 thousand tonnes and the annual average export value was USD54.762 million. In 1991, the export mounted to its peak of 753 thousand tonnes, valued about USD96.652 million. Since then the export plummeted, the annual export of 2004 to 2013 was 23.7 thousand tonnes, with the export value of USD10.026 million.


  Since 2008, the annual export volume of China's sweet potato was about 25 thousand tonnes, valued about USD10 million. In recent years, China has mainly exported refined sweet potato starch, sweet potato vermicelli, fresh sweet potatoes, fried sweet potato tubers and chips, quick-frozen sweet potato tubers, and so on. However, when it compared with either the total export volume or value of China, sweet potato products have only accounted very small proportion.




  4.2 Periodical Characteristics of Foreign Trade of China's Sweet Potato


  There were there phases in terms of export volume: starting-up (1965-1980), during which the annual export volume was 134,918.8 tonnes, valued USD1.024 million; peak (19851994), during which the annual export volume was 486.8 tonnes, valued USD54.7618 million; declining stage (ever since 1995 and 1996), during which China's export of sweet potato plummeted. In 2004 to 2013, China's average annual export of sweet potato was 23.7 thousand tonnes, with the export value of USD10.026 million.


  4.3 Major Trading Countries and Areas of China's Sweet Potato Export


  In the history of China's sweet potato export, Italy used to be the biggest importer during in 1987 to 1995, among which the highest import volume amounted to 430 thousand tonnes. However, in recent years, the sweet potato starch exported to Italy could only remain in a very small volume, and in 2011, that number reduced to 40 thousand tonnes.


  The highest export to Netherlands was nearly 110 thousand tonnes in 1988 but only 149 tonnes in 2011. The highest export to Luxembourg (Belgium) was 103 thousand tonnes in 1992, but the country stopped importing sweet potato products from China since 1993.


  Switzerland, with the highest import of 64 thousand tonnes from China, had gradually reduced the volume and finally stopped importing. Germany, importing starch from China as high as 100 thousand tonnes in 1991, also stopped the importing from China since 1994.


  The highest record of France's import was 14,917 tonnes in 1990. The UK imported large amount of sweet potato products in 1987 to 1994, with its highest record of 41,500 tonnes, but up to 2011, the number decreased to 117 tonnes.


  Denmark imported sweet potato products from China just in one single year, with the volume of 7,000 tonnes. Japan has always been the major importer of China's sweet potato products, with the import volume of nearly 3,000 tonnes in 1990s and about 5,000 tonnes from the year of 2000 to 2011.


  The export to the US has remained in 1,200 tonnes in 2010 to 2011. Hong Kong kept its annual import of 3,000 tonnes since 2009. Macao imported 30,000 tonnes in 2011. South Korea started the import from China since 1988, the annual import of 2010 to 2011 was about 1,000 tonnes.


  Moreover, there are other countries remained importing from China: Singapore, 40,000 thousand tonnes in 2011; Malaysia, 200 tonnes in 2009 to 2011; Canada, 2.74 million tonnes in 2011; New Zealand, 900 thousand tonnes in 2011; Russia, 10 tonnes per year; Thailand, 35 tonnes per year. In conclusion, we can see that the main reason for the decreasing in China's export of sweet potato products lay in the huge reducing of the export to the EU countries.


  4.4 Characteristics of China's Sweet Potato Export and Its Structure in Recent Years


  According to China Customs, the major exporting starch of China was corn starch, followed by the normal starch (including sweet potato starch, pueraria lobata starch, pea starch, lotus root starch, and coconut starch), wheat starch, potato starch, and cassava starch. From 2003 to 2011, the annual export of China's normal starch was 37 thousand to 61 thousand tonnes, valued USD18 million to USD49 million. The export price increased from more than USD4 million/tonnes of 2002 to more than USD11 million/tonnes. As the main producing area of sweet potato starch located in Lianyungang of Jiangsu Province, Jining and Linyi of Shandong Province, and Qinhuangdao of Hebei Province, and therefore the major customs ports of the export and import of China's sweet potato starch in 2014 were Nanjing customs, Qinghai customs, and Shijiazhuang customs respectively, accounted 87% of the total customs clearance.


  From January to September of 2014, the export of China's normal starch totaled 25,297.83 tonnes, valued USD32.5467 million. In the trade of starch, the export was far higher than the import. In recent years, the major importers of China's sweet potato starch were South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and the US, among which South Korea imported 19,211.775 tonnes of normal starch from China during the period ranged from January to September of 2014, with the average price of USD1,116.62/tonnes.


  It was reported that the South Korea has had a large demand on sweet potato starch for making vermicelli and cold noodle, and it purchased the starch from China with the volume of 20 thousand tonnes each year. In South Korea, the cost of manufacturing sweet potato starch was as twice as the importing price, while the selling price was three times of the importing price. Therefore, we can see that China enjoyed a great price advantage in terms of the sweet potato exporting.


  Currently, the domestic manufacturer's prices of refined sweet potato vermicelli, sweet potato starch sheet, sweet potato straight crystal vermicelli were RMB8,000-9.000/tonnes, RMB9,000-10,000/tonnes, and RMB10,000-12,000/tonnes respectively. In terms of instant vermicelli, it has hugely demanded in both domestic and oversea market and thus has been well prospected with the manufacturer's price of RMB15,000-17,000/tonnes.


  *The article is edited and translated by CCM. The original one comes from Agricultural Outlook.





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