The Department’s position is that agricultural exports to China will and should continue in line with the existing sanitary and phytosanitary prescripts.
COVID 19 pandemic has not affected the exports of animal and plant products to China.
- Wool exports are going according to plan and local purchases are still ongoing. The last wool auction as reported by Cape Wool industry was only 0.7% down which is normal. Because of the global uncertainties, with movement restrictions all over the world, the wool prices are expected to temporarily go down. The meat export is still going well to date.
- Exports of Apples, Table Grapes and Citrus to China is on-going in line with agreed protocols and no changes have been observed since the outbreak of Coronavirus and no restrictions to market access has been observed. Containers are cleared at the ports in China, with no hold ups or delay. All the necessary inspections for Production Units, Packhouses and Inspection Points have been done and approval has been granted by China.
- With regard to other preclearance or special programmes:
1. Japan-Exports of Citrus and Barlinka Grapes 2) Mexico - Exports of Apples 3) Taiwan - Exports of Apples 4) South Korea - Exports of Citrus – For these markets, there is a requirement for pre-inspections to be conducted in South Africa by inspectors from those countries before consignments leave the South African shores. In an attempt to adhere to the travel restrictions for incoming visitors from high risk countries, the Department proposed to those countries the following:
- Departmental inspectors who are familiar with the export programme undertake the required preclearance inspections; and
- provide the necessary reports and records to the importing country.
Feedback is awaited from the trading partners on the proposed alternative inspection protocol.
2. United States of America (USA) – Exports of Flower Bulbs, Apples, Pears, Table Grapes and Citrus- the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USA Preclearance inspector who is based in Cape Town is currently inspecting Table Grapes to USA and the volume has tripled as compared to the past ten years.
With regard to field inspections for Apples, Pears and Citrus, the USDA had granted approval for exports without field inspections. The Department is also in communication with USDA with regards to the intended visit of four (04) USA inspectors who are due to come to South Africa for preclearance of consignments of citrus to be exported to the USA for the current season.