BEIJING  -  China has imported Pakistani pine nuts in the first two months of this year touch-ing a historical figure of US $17.67 million, according to General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC).

In the first two months of 2022, China imported 1,606.51 tonnes of Pakistani pine nuts worth $17.67 million and was one of the main destinations for pine nuts im-ported from Pakistan. Overall, China has imported pine nuts worth $42.35 million of which 42 percent has been imported from Pakistan.

Abdullah Afridi, a China-based Pakistani pine nuts trader, told media that Paki-stani pine nuts are very popular in China because of their good taste and main-stream e-commerce platforms’ being helpful in boosting Pakistani pine nuts sales.

“Under the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, Pakistani and Chinese traders can export their pine nuts to China at zero tariffs which helped enhance the exports and before the tariff for pine nuts used to stand at 36 percent,” he stated.

Yar Muhammad Niazi, chief executive of a food company in Hangzhou, China, ex-pressed his views to media that Pakistani traders purchased machines from China to sort the empty shell of pine nuts and those machines can grade pine nuts ac-cording to their size and quality, which is convenient for standardised processing and export to the world.

“China is importing pine nuts around the world but Pakistani, Afghani, and Brazili-an pine nuts are the most famous in the Chinese market. Pakistan needs to bring more investors and technology to improve this sector. In Pakistan and Afghani-stan farmers still have to carry the pine nuts bags on their shoulders or backs be-cause of inaccessible vehicles and lack of technology,” he stated.

Data also showed that China imported 201.2 tons of pine nuts worth $2.82 mil-lion from Afghanistan in the first two months of this year, whereas overall imports crossed 5,722 tons worth $42.35 million.

According an expert, in Pakistan, pine nuts are considered royal dry fruit and people love to eat them in winter but due to their high price, only rich people can afford it.

He also mentioned China is a big market and their buying power is increased therefore as one of the three major pine nut varieties in the Chinese market, Paki-stani pine nuts enjoy a high premium and are listed as high-end snacks but still, “we need to control the price,” he added.