China will import some $1 billion worth of agricultural products from the Philippines following the visit of Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang this month, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told reporters on Wednesday that a purchase agreement covering farm products will be signed during the visit of the Chinese official.
“The Philippine government will include durian, avocado, banana, pineapple, coconut, mango, dragon fruit, mangosteen, marang, rice, coffee, cacao, fisheries, chicken and duck meat in the agreement,” Lopez said.
China lifted its ban on the Philippines’s pineapple and banana exports last year before President Duterte’s state visit and signed a $100-million contract for fruit imports.
Aside from bananas and pineapples, China is also keen on importing seafood from the Philippines, including crabs, shrimps, prawns, tuna and milkfish or bangus, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Amid the territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila, China suspended Philippine exporters who supposedly shipped bananas, where the pest Dysmicoccus neobrevipes was detected in March last year. The pest was found by the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in the shipment made by NKM Import/Export Inc.
AQSIQ also destroyed the banana shipment of Sumifru to Shenzen Everglory Trading Co. Ltd. for supposedly containing carbendazim level, which exceeded China’s maximum residue level of 0.1 milligrams/kilogram.
In the first half of 2016, China bought 139,263.718 metric tons of bananas valued at $68.748 million, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). China accounted for 26 percent of the country’s total banana exports during the period.
China is the Philippines’s second major trading partner, fourth-largest export market and top import supplier in 2015.