Crates of freshly harvested kiwifruit from New Zealand are being unloaded from a ship at Shanghai Port.
The first shipment of New Zealand kiwifruit arrived in Shanghai last Friday. An executive of Zespri International, the world's largest kiwifruit exporter, said it was the company's first shipment this harvest season.
In the past 20 years, Zespri's first shipment usually went to Japan. This year, the company made China the first market to receive its new harvest. The ship brought 3,886 tons of kiwifruit in 840,000 trays.
Shanghai Port inspectors completed the clearance procedure in 24 hours, instead of four or five days as before, to let New Zealand kiwifruit reach Chinese consumers as early as possible.
Last year, Shanghai Port inspectors examined 800,000 tons of imported fruits, including 53,000 tons of kiwifruit.
Zespri increased its kiwifruit export to China from 2 percent of its total shipment in 2003 to 17 percent in 2016. China is poised to become the biggest importer of New Zealand kiwifruit this year, the company official said.