China saw a big-margin decline in food sales to Japan on "dumpling poisoning" case in the first two months of this year.
Between January and February, China exported 471,000 tons of foodstuffs for US$1.02 billion to Japan, a decrease of 17.1 percent and 10.4 percent respectively from the same period of last year, sources with the General Administration of Customs said on Friday.
In February alone, the exports went down 30 percent to 186,000 tons, the sources said.
The total exports in the first two months included 144,000 tons of vegetables, down 17.7 percent from the year-earlier level, and 45,000 tons of aquatic products, down 12.5 percent.
Foreign-funded enterprises accounted for 57.7 percent, or 272,000 tons of the total exports, down 19.2 percent.
Shandong, the nation's largest food exporter to Japan, made up of 33.3 percent, or 157,000 tons of the total, down 19.5 percent.
The dumpling poisoning case that led 10 people to fall sick in Japan came to light in late January and the investigative authorities of the two countries have joined hands in probing the cause.
Influenced by the dumpling poisoning incident, Shandong's exports of food and farm products to Japan in February fell 60 from the same month of last year.
After a thorough investigation, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in late February that the dumpling poisoning incident was an individual deliberate case, not a case of food safety resulting from pesticide residue.
In a related development, China's food exports in the January-February period stood at 4.24 million tons, up 6.8 percent year-on-year.
(Xinhua News Agency May 2, 2008)