China has overtaken Japan and become the biggest alfalfa hay product importer by country.
China is the most prosperous market for every alfalfa hay exporters. 2021 saw total imports amounting to 1.78 million tons, this represents a 31% year over year increase, import values stood at USD 680m, representing a 38.4% year over year increase. First quarter 2022 saw ongoing momentum.
The United States, Spain and South Africa are 3 largest hay exporting countries for the Chinese market, accounting for 98% of total imports.
Below YYK Barn Tech lists four key points for forage exporters interested in exploring chinese market.
First, alfalfa hay suppliers must be registered on GACC (General Administration of Customs China).
To avoid pests and hazardous material transmission, the Chinese Government usually sign protocols with corresponding agencies of exporting countries. This ensures hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) systems are well established in alfalfa hay processing plants.
If a particular forage exporter plans on exporting alfalfa to China, it needs to get endorsement from the said government agencies (the United States; USDA, South Africa: DAFF, etc.), once endorsed, the exporters name will be forwarded to GACC and published on GACC’s website.
GACC registered U.S. alfalfa hay Supplier
GACC registered RSA alfalfa hay Supplier
GACC registered Spain alfalfa hay Supplier
Second, to pass inspection in departing and arriving ports, the alfalfa hay exporter should be very careful to avoid following contamination.
The Chinese Government and the exporting countries relevant Government agencies will do strict inspection. Before the shipment of alfalfa hay leaves the exporting country, the exporting Government will quarantine the goods on site and issue Phytosanitary Certificate.
If live pests or seeds, soil, animal feces and carcasses, plants and animal remains are found, the shipments must not be exported to China. Once the shipment arrival to China ports, similar inspection will be repeated.
Hence, alfalfa hay exporters need to maintain very strict sanitary controls during alfalfa bale, pellet and cubes processing, packaging, warehousing and shipment.
Third, please choose experienced alfalfa hay importers in China as your counter parties if your company is new to the process.
Your interested buyers may be Import-export companies, feed processing factories. It is highly recommended that they have relevant forage importing experience. This is needed so that they can share with you packaging labels (those labels contains mandated Chinese wording).
Experienced alfalfa importers are also familiar with importing procedure, such as how to get “Quarantine Permit for Imported Animals and Plants” from relevant Government agencies, this is a mandatory precondition for entering alfalfa hay sales contract.
Last, sight letter of credit or TT payment terms are preferred. Be careful about documents under L/C
Apparently, 100% pre-shipment TT payment is very appealing to alfalfa hay exporters, however, your counter parties may require sight LC as payment terms. This is also doable, however, you need to carefully prepare relevant documents under the sight LC in exchange for the payment.
In addition to commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading, Chinese buyers usually requires certificate of origin, phytosanitary certificate, declaration for non-wood material, analysis report issued by Labs, label showing the seller’s information. Some buyers even requires non-GMO certificate (without genetic engineering).