China plans Egypt visits to begin importing dates

A delegation from the Chinese agricultural quarantine authority will visit Egypt in September, raising the possibility that Beijing may begin importing dates from the North African country.

The delegation will inspect date palm plantations and packaging plants follow the international quality rules before Beijing would reach a final import agreement with authorities in Cairo, Egyptian agriculture export council member Mostafa Al Nagari told Amwal Al Ghad on Tuesday.

Egypt’s dates exports rose 70 percent during the first quarter of the current year, reaching 30,000 tonnes compared to 17,800 in 2017.

During the visit, Egyptian and Chinese officials are expected to reach an import agreement, Al Nagari said.

Egypt’s agricultural exporters have seen a surge in demand since the country floated its currency last November, allowing it to roughly halve in value as part of reforms tied to a three-year $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan agreement.