Anyue,China: "Lemon City" lemon exports grow against the trend

Since last year, the export volume of lemons in Anyue County, Sichuan Province, known as the "Lemon Capital of China," has increased significantly.

Yang Xiubin, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Sichuan Province, announced the news at the 2nd World Lemon Industry Development Conference a few days ago. He said that the regional brand value of Anyue Lemon reached 18.06 billion yuan, ranking second in the province. “Anyue Lemon” has become the “hot stamping business card” of Sichuan agriculture.

According to statistics from the Anyue County Lemon Industry Development Center, Anyue lemon produced 610,000 tons last year, with an output value of approximately 13.1 billion yuan; the export volume from September 2019 to August 2020 exceeded 130,000 tons.

“The largest number of times was 23 containers, totaling 598 tons.” Said Jiang Changwei, president of Anyue Lemon Chamber of Commerce and head of Sichuan Weiji Fruit Co., Ltd. from the Spring Festival to May this year, due to the surge in overseas orders. Workers often have to work overtime until the early hours of the morning. "During that time, all factories in Anyue that could export lemons were working overtime."

The growth in export sales of Anyue lemons mainly came from the Middle East, West Asia and Europe. Taking the Middle East as an example, the number of export destination countries has increased from 3 before the new crown pneumonia epidemic to 11 now, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

Tian Zaize, director of the Anyue County Lemon Industry Development Center, believes that the price advantage and the impact of the epidemic on the global supply chain have promoted the export of Anyue lemons. On the one hand, the price of Anyue lemons in 2019 was lower than in previous years. On the other hand, due to China’s earlier control of the epidemic, some other major lemon producing areas in the world were in a state of “blockade” for a while, giving Anyue lemons access. Overseas markets have created opportunities.

In addition, the epidemic has prompted more people to pay attention to the health benefits of lemons, which has stimulated consumption. The standardized transformation of orchards and the emphasis on food safety also helped Anyue Lemon to obtain more overseas orders. Jiang Changwei said that fruit farmers have become more and more experienced in the management of orchards, and the proportion of inferior fruits has dropped significantly, while the "value" and quality of Anyue lemons have continued to improve.

"Foreign consumers like sour lemons." Tian Zaize said. Anyue lemons are one of the most acidic lemon varieties in the world, reaching 7.8%, which is higher than the common Sichuan edible vinegar "Boning Vinegar".

Anyue County Lemon Industry Development Center will further promote standardization technology through three types of bases: organic product base, green food base, and export quality and safety national demonstration zone this year, transform low- and medium-yield orchards, and realize the use of water and fertilizer integration and other means to achieve chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Reduce volume and increase efficiency".

Anyue County’s lemon production accounts for more than 80% of the country’s total and is known as the "Lemon Capital of China". Anyue Lemon has also been selected for the "China-EU Geographical Indication Agreement" signed not long ago, and is one of the first 100 Geographical Indication products selected by China 

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