The fractious relationship between China and the U.S. has caught fruit shipments in the crossfire. In the last month, the China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) agency has been detaining all American fruit shipments for seven days upon arrival in China for the purpose of testing for pesticide residues. As of May 23, inspections in Beijing and Shanghai were being released the same day.
This is critical news for California cherry growers who are now in peak season. The timing is encouraging for Washington state growers who will start shipping cherries in the first week of June. Cherries represent about half of the $226 million (US dollars) of fruit exports to China.
U.S. fruit exports have faced headwinds with China introducing a 15 per cent tariff on April 2, 2018.