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China Bans Guatemala’s Coffee and Macadamia Imports

The Guatemalan export guild affirmed this Thursday that China prohibited the import of coffee and macadamia shipments from the Central American country without giving an explanation for the measure, while the local government, an ally of Taiwan, said it was unaware of any restriction ordered by Beijing.

“In recent days, clients and brokers in Mainland China have informed coffee and macadamia producers and exporters that shipments from Guatemala will be retained in the ports of the Asian country,” stated the Guatemalan Exporters Association (Agexport) in a statement.

This is “due to a prohibition imposed on imports from our country,” specified the Guatemalan business guild. Agexport pointed out that “so far” the Chinese government has not issued an “official statement,” but “in practice, product brokers have asked that shipments be stopped.”

The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which had previously expressed that it would not issue “comments in this regard,” later indicated in a statement that “to date, it has not received official notification of any prohibition imposed on imports from Guatemala by the Chinese government.”

The Foreign Ministry added that it is carrying out “pertinent procedures and consultations” to find a “prompt solution” for the affected Guatemalan producers and exporters, with whom it expressed solidarity.

Guatemala does not have diplomatic relations with China as it is an ally of Taiwan, but it does have commercial ties that, according to Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo, a social democrat, seek to be strengthened.

In 2023, China exported to Guatemala products worth around 5.58 billion dollars in machinery, vehicles, electronics, raw materials, and manufactures, among others, according to data from Agexport.

On the other hand, Guatemala’s exports to China last year amounted to 82 million dollars, mainly in coffee, nickel, iron, steel, macadamia, copper, clothing, precious metals, aluminum, and wood.

Aligned with Washington, all Central American countries remained linked to Taiwan for decades, but now only Guatemala and Belize maintain ties with that island, which China considers a rebellious province.

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