Up to the end of 2004, the total area of economic forests in China was 27.366 million ha, 18.428 million ha of which started to bear fruits, the total production of all types of economic forests was 68.772 million tons, with an annual gross product of RMB 131.1 billion. Due to the implementation of the major forestry programs such as the land conversion from farmland back to forestland and the improvement of poor productivity economic forest, the total area of economic forest has increased yearly by more than 1.3 million ha since 2000. By adjustment of species composition and improvement of low productivity forests, and intensification of technology applications in cultivation and management, the quantity and quality of products have been improved, the total benefit from economic forests in the country has been significantly increased.
The export/import of economic forest products rapidly increased in 2002, further expanding the trade surplus. The fruit export in 2002 was US$ 1.14 billion, and increase of 19.3%; the fruit import was US$ 391 million, an increase of 47.6%. The trade surplus was US$ 749 million, increasing by 8.4% compared to that in 2001. The change of fruit import/export indicated that accession to WTO promoted the export and import of fruit products in general, but the impact was larger on import than on export.
More specifically, the import and export trade of ingredients, medicinal materials and tonic products increased in 2002, expanding the trade surplus. The total export value was US$ 366 million and import value was US$ 59 million, increased by 3.87% and 5.27% respectively compared to those in 2001. The import and export trade surplus was US$ 307 million, expanding 3.6% compared to 2001. These types of products were mainly exported to Japan, South Korea, Viet Nam, USA and the Hong Kong SAR of China. The import was mainly from Canada, North Korea, Indonesia, USA and Sweden. The export of fungi, bamboo shoots, wild vegetables in 2002 continued to decrease, while the import was increased, reducing the trade surplus. The export value was US$ 620 million reducing by 2.18% compared to 2001. The import value was US$ 5 million, with a trade surplus of US$ 615 million. The export was mainly to Japan, Germany and Hong Kong.
The import and export trade of tea and coffee in 2002 increased slightly, and the trade surplus was reduced. The export value was US$ 402 million, and the import value was US$ 93 million, increasing by 0.1% and 1% respectively compared to those in 2001. The import and export trade surplus was US$ 309 million, reducing by 0.17% compared to that in 2001. The export was mainly to Japan, Morocco, USA and Germany, and the import was mainly from Italy, USA, Indonesia, Singapore, Ivory Coast and Chinese Hong Kong. The impacts of accession to WTO on major economic forest products were mainly reflected with walnut and chestnut, then import of these products somehow increased but only a small quantity of import. The export of fruits and resin products expanded. Generally, the impact of accession to WTO on import of economic forest products was limited, but the export of some products was expanded.