WORLD TRADE SITUATION AND POLICY UPDATES
Canadian Produce Marketing Association asks: "Are You Getting Enough?"
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) has been running the very successful "Reach For It - Eat 5 to 10 Fruits and Vegetables a Day" for years. At its recent 74th annual convention, in conjunction with new partners such as the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation, CPMA unveiled a new and expanded campaign intended to educate consumers on "how" and "why" to include more fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. The new campaign will use the slogan "Are You Getting Enough? - 5 to 10 a Day", and will include retailer displays, public service announcements, media relations, community outreach, a 1-800 telephone number, and an exclusive web site. On a per capita basis, Canada already has one of the highest consumption rates of fresh produce in the world. Any resulting increase in fruit and vegetable consumption in Canada would directly benefit U.S. producers of these products, as Canada remains the United States top market for horticultural exports. U.S. exports of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables to Canada rose 6 percent in FY1998 to reach a record $2.6 billion.
Problems mount relating to Koreas administration of orange quota
U.S. orange exporters are facing increased problems because of new restrictions placed on orange tenders under Koreas tariff rate quota (TRQ) system. Most recently, the government-designated importing entity, the Cheju Citrus Cooperative, refused to recognize the large California freeze as a force majeure, which had led several bid awardees to not fulfill previously approved sales due to a severe shortage of supply. This in turn led the Cheju Coop to refuse to relinquish the related bid bonds. Meanwhile, complicating the picture further is Koreas continued, unjustified quarantine embargo on Riverside County, California, due to a Medfly detection which occurred in an isolated portion of the county several months ago. Riverside County was not significantly affected by the December freeze and, as a result, has export grade fruit available to ship, but is unable to do so due to the ban. Bilateral efforts to resolve this problem have thus far been unsuccessful. Despite these difficulties, Korea remains an important market for U.S. oranges, with shipments valued at $18 million in 1997/98.
U.S. apple exports to Israel could benefit from expected shorter Israeli supplies
FAS/Tel Aviv reported the week of February 8 that the Israeli apple market is expected be short about 10,000 metric tons, due to a smaller domestic crop this season. In response, the Israeli government is reportedly considering reducing the out-of-quota tariff it applies to U.S. and other foreign suppliers. There have been reports that this tariff cut could be significant, which, if true, could create significant new export opportunities for U.S. suppliers. Under the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, apples are covered under a duty-free tariff rate quota, which for 1999 is set at 1,748 metric tons. U.S. apple exports to Israel in MY1997/98 were valued at $1.3 million (about 1,500 tons).
Egypt signals move away from proposed mandatory pre-shipment residue testing for imported apples
During a visit to Cairo the week of February 1, an HTP staff member learned in meetings with Egyptian officials that the government has shelved plans to establish a mandatory pre-shipment testing and certification program for pesticide and heavy metal residues on U.S. apples. In November 1998, FAS/Cairo reported on Egypts intention to establish such a program which could have, if implemented, seriously disrupted U.S. apple exports to this small, but growing market. The Egyptian officials instead announced in the recent meetings their intention to conduct random residue testing at ports of entry. U.S. apple shipments to Egypt in MY 1997/98 (July-June) totaled 4,630 tons, with an associated value of $2.7 million.