Biosecurity factsheet - Jujubes from China

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, August 2018

The commencement of this risk analysis is in response to a request for market access for fresh Chinese jujube fruit (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) from China into Australia.  Fresh Chinese jujube fruit is China’s highest new horticultural market access priority.

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Key facts

  • The department is conducting a risk analysis of fresh Chinese jujube fruit from China.
  • A draft report of the risk analysis is expected to be released for public consultation in early 2019.
  • The department will consider stakeholder comments in preparing the final report.

Risk analysis for Chinese jujube fruit

This risk analysis was initiated in response to a market access request for fresh Chinese jujube fruit from China to Australia. Fresh Chinese jujube fruit is China’s highest new horticultural market access priority.

As a World Trade Organization member, Australia is required to assess market access requests and develop the least trade restrictive and scientifically justified import conditions. The same scientific principles are used by our trading partners when assessing Australian commodities. 

A preliminary assessment of the pests associated with fresh Chinese jujubes from China has identified that the potential pests of biosecurity concern are fruit flies, a mealybug, scales, and a fruit-boring moth.

These pests are the same, or of the same pest groups, as those associated with other horticultural goods that have been assessed previously by the department and for which risk management measures are established. Therefore, this risk analysis is being conducted as a review of biosecurity import requirements (a non-regulated risk analysis).

Process for a risk analysis

The objective of undertaking a risk analysis is to ensure that any fresh products imported into Australia are free from unwanted pests and diseases. The department initially identifies pests and diseases associated with fruit or vegetable produced for export in the source country that are not present in Australia.

The assessment includes analysis of the potential pests of biosecurity concern and recommends risk management measures if required. If risk management measures are not available to effectively manage biosecurity risks, trade is not permitted until suitable measures are identified.

The department will verify commercial production, packing, and export practices in the source country before determining risk management measures to be applied to mitigate potential risks that do not achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection.

How stakeholders can contribute

The department invites stakeholders to contribute scientific information relevant to this risk analysis at any time.

Stakeholders will be invited to comment on the draft report during a 60 calendar day public consultation period. The final report will then be published after consideration of stakeholder comments. This will complete the scientific risk analysis process.

Australia-China trade

China is Australia's largest two-way trading partner in goods and services with trade valued at $155.2 billion in 2016 and Australia’s largest agriculture, forestry and fisheries export market valued at $10.3 billion in 2016.

China is a rapidly growing export market for Australia due to the increasing demand for high-quality produce and products. The major Australian horticultural goods exported to China are citrus, macadamia, table grapes, cherries, stone fruits (nectarines, peaches and plums), walnuts, and processed fruits. In 2016, Australian horticulture products exported to China were valued at $276 million. In 2015-2016, agricultural imports from China were valued at $2.73 billion.

Chinese jujube fruit production in China

China is the largest producer of Chinese jujube fruit in the world, producing approximately 9 million tonnes from around 3 million hectares of area in 2015.

The main cultivars of Chinese jujube fruit grown in China are Dongzao, Lizao, Junzao, Zuhhuang Dazao, Sushui Cuizao, Jinsi Xiaozao and Hupingzao. All Chinese jujube fruit cultivars from China will be considered in the risk analysis.

China’s main fresh Chinese jujube fruit export season is typically from August to October with a peak harvesting period of September.

China currently has market access for fresh Chinese jujube fruit to South Africa and Thailand, and a number of non-phytosanitary requirement countries.

Chinese jujube fruit production in Australia

With the cultivation of Chinese jujube fruit in 2000, the Australian jujube industry is relatively small and emerging and currently only supplies the domestic market. Chinese jujubes are grown in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, with the majority of production in Western Australia.

The main cultivars of Chinese jujube fruit grown in Australia are Chico, Suimen, Li, Don Polenski, and Admiral Wilkes. Depending on the cultivars and maturing stages, Chinese jujubes are harvested from February to April in Australia. Therefore the export season in China is counter-seasonal to Australia’s harvesting period.

Australia currently does not export or import fresh Chinese jujubes to, or from, any countries. However, Australia permits the importation of dried jujube fruit for human consumption and jujube plants for use as nursery stock.

Subscribe for updates

Stakeholders interested in receiving further updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s online subscription service.