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China's import of licorice from Central Asia surges

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URUMQI, June 23 (Xinhua) -- China has seen a significant rise in licorice root imports from Central Asia this year.

A total of 4,043 tonnes of licorice root worth 5.2 million U.S. dollars, have been imported via Horgos on the China-Kazakhstan border in the first five months in 2015, according to the Xinjiang Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau on Tuesday, doubled last year's amount.

China imported about 22,000 tonnes of the licorice via the port in 2014 with a value of 27 million U.S. dollars, it said.

Licorice root is widely used in medicine, food processing and daily chemicals. The international supply of licorice root does not meet demand.

As Central Asian countries, especially Kazakhstan, abound with high-quality licorice root, China's pharmaceutical companies have flocked to Horgos to purchase the herb.

China has had a duty-free policy on licorice root since 2008.

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