Ministry: Chinese market successfully opened for Estonian food

Estonian milk and dairy products.
Estonian milk and dairy products. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

As a result of the successful opening of the Chinese market, it is possible for Estonian companies to export a number of products to China, the Ministry of Rural Affairs said, adding that Chinese import permits are expected to be obtained for Estonian poultry, beef, goat milk products and cod within the next few years.

Of animal products, Estonian companies can currently export sprats, Baltic herring, common flounder, shrimp, cow milk products and honey to China. At the beginning of the month, the Chinese market also opened for Estonian salmon, rainbow trout and products thereof, Eve Paju, chief specialist at the Export and Market Development Bureau of the Ministry of Rural Affairs' Agricultural Policy Department, said in the ministry's blog.

Estonian business operators have been quick to take advantage of the opportunities created by the opening of the Chinese market, Paju said. Exports of dairy products have gained significant momentum over the past two years, and whey powder has emerged as the main product exported to China.

China now ranks first among non-EU destination countries for Estonian dairy products.

The seafood sector occupies an important place in Estonia's exports to China, within which frozen shrimp has been a main article for years already. Flatfish exports are on an upward trend, and according to the latest data, flatfish is the top seafood export exported to China.

Of beverages, malt beer, vodka, cider, fermented beverages and natural water have all been exported to China. Estonian-made chocolate and wheat have likewise been exported to China in smaller amounts, alongside more than two tons of natural honey.

"Although volumes are still small in several goods categories, the Asian market's immense potential serves as an opportunities for food sector companies to achieve great success," Paju added.

According to data for the first eight months of 2019, China ranked 17th among export destinations for Estonian agricultural products and foodstuffs, and 7th outside of the EU. During this period, exports to China totaled €6 million, up 28 percent on year.

Estonian products featured at trade fair

Organized by the Ministry of Rural Affairs in cooperation with the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a tour of Estonian food and beverage companies in China that took place from Nov. 2-8 took Estonian business executives to Beijing and Shanghai for individual meetings.

While in Shanghai, the delegation also visited the 2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) trade fair. The visit also included a reception for the Estonian companies and their guests hosted by Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik (EKRE) and the ambassador.

Companies whose products were featured at the joint Estonian stand at CIIE included EBM Grupp AS, Haage Joogid OÜ, Saku Õlletehase AS, Tanker Brewery OÜ, Ecotar OÜ, Mayeri Industries AS and Top Connect OÜ.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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