The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Mark Vaile announced yesterday (7 September) that after five years of trade negotiations, the Chinese market has opened to Australian citrus exports.

The first shipments of Queensland mandarins entered China this week, Vaile said.

"Three shipments of Australian mandarins, from the Greater Burnett region in QLD, are now on sale in Chinese supermarkets, after Chinese customs approved entry of nearly 100,000 kilos of mandarins from Queensland," Vaile commented. It is expected that an additional 300 000 kilos will be exported to China before October. 

"China's market is potentially worth over A$50m (US$38.15m) of exports for Australia's citrus growers. Next year, industry expects to increase exports of oranges and other citrus fruits from the Riverina and Mallee regions," Vaile continued.

The Australian Government hopes that continued negotations will further open the Chinese market to Australian food exports. "Now that consignments of citrus have successfully entered China's market, the Australian Government's next priority is to establish market access for table grapes, summer fruit and cherries," Vale concluded.