URUMQI, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ketchup from northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has reached the tables of more than 100 countries and regions.
From January to August, Xinjiang exported 73,000 tonnes of ketchup with a total value of 350 million yuan (49 million U.S. dollars), up 11.8 percent from the previous year, according to the region's customs authority.
The arid climate and large discrepancy between day and night temperatures have made Xinjiang a perfect place to grow top-quality tomatoes.
Over 80 percent of the ketchup produced in Xinjiang was exported to Russia and Italy. Besides ketchup, Xinjiang tomato products such as diced tomatoes and tomato powders are also well received in overseas markets including the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia.
The region has simplified clearance procedures for tomato products. "Our ketchup will go through more than 20 quality tests before export," said Aliye Xalbek, a customs officer.
More than 70 percent of Xinjiang ketchup was exported via the Alashankou port, the biggest inland port in northwestern China.
China-Europe cargo trains have in recent years become a new choice for ketchup companies in the region. According to local customs, it only takes about 15 days for Xinjiang tomato products to reach European countries, 45 days shorter than the traditional sea route.