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China's Farm Produce Export Grows 14.1 % in 2006

China exported US$31.03 billion worth of farm produce last year, up 14.1 percent year on year, the Ministry of Commerce reported on its website on Wednesday.

As prices on world markets were much higher than domestic markets over the past two years, farm produce exports have been on the rise.

The average export prices for garlic, apples, apple juice and canned mushrooms rose more than 20 percent last year, said the ministry.

More than half of China's farm produce exports were horticultural products, which rose 21.5 percent, and aquatic products, up 19.5 percent in the first 11 months last year, the ministry said.

China's farm produce exports to the United States grew by 34.1 percent and exports to the European Union were up 25.4 percent year on year.

Due to Japan's strict new standards for chemical residues, export growth to Japan slowed to 3.7 percent in the first 11 months, much lower than the 9.4 percent growth in the same period of 2005.

Japan, the largest overseas market for Chinese farm produce exports, implemented the Positive List System for Agricultural Chemicals Residues on May 29, 2006.

The new system, imposing much stricter standards on residues on agricultural products, directly affected Chinese agricultural exports worth about US$8 billion and involved more than 6,000 Chinese enterprises.

The Ministry of Commerce wants to see farm produce exports grow by at least seven percent a year so a total of US$38 billion in 2010, according to its work plan.

(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2007)

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