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Very busy start to Asia Fruit Logistica in Thailand

The Asia Fruit Logistica exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand, has kicked off, and the first day has been a busy one. The atmosphere was really  buzzing. Everyone is very keen to catch up with both colleagues and clients, and there is a big presence from all continents. Export countries well represented from Asia are Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea, with a few companies from Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Pakistan.

Australians are saying it has been a tough year for products such as citrus, but they are looking forward to the coming seasons. Cherries will be around ten days late due to climate issues, but the fruit is looking good. A Tasmanian cherry grower managed to keep shipping by air last season thanks to direct flights out of Hobart.

A couple of UK companies doing berries and salads are here looking to export into Asia next year, as the UK has some of the lowest grower returns in the trade. Australian citrus growers see a gap for good orange juice in the Asian market. It tastes fresh but has a long shelf life. There is also lot of interest in the Greek kiwis from Indian importers due to the ban on Iranian kiwi imports.

Big global developments have also affected trade in Asia and supply to the region. The Russian market has closed or partly closed to a number of export countries now looking for alternative markets in the Far East. Traders from Pakistani are promoting tangerines, potatoes, and onions to Southeast Asia. Serbian apple growers, traditionally supplying Russia, are promoting their crop to buyers in India, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Other exhibitors are present in Bangkok because they have witnessed recent developments in the market and see its potential. A Dutch machine trader shared that "the market for cut vegetables and flowers is growing in Southeast Asia, with supermarkets investing in their own production facilities, requiring cutting and packing technology."

Finally, with current Covid restrictions still in place in China, there are considerably fewer Chinese exhibitors than in previous years. That said, some of the bigger trading houses and technology companies from China are still present, and Chinese visitors are walking the isles. All exhibitors spoken with this first morning expressed their positive surprise as to how crowded the trade floor turned out to be this year.