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Import market review of week 6

China: Cherry supply grows rapidly - grape prices on the rise

At the start of week 5, as we enter the Spring Festival season, wholesale and retail markets at every level have entered the last stage of stockpiling products. As far as supply is concerned, Chilean cherries have arrived in great volume this year. This week their volume saw a sharp increase, which caused the market price to drop slightly. Wholesale retailers quickly slowed down the air freight of Chilean plums to avoid a similar development in that market. The market conditions for grapes are not the same as for grapes. This week the market price of grapes from Peru started to rise. The price of seedless black grapes from India also showed a significant rise.

Sharp increase of cherry supply volume

The average delivery volume of Chilean cherries has increased from around 25 shipping containers last week to around 41 shipping containers this week. At the same time, the quality of delivered cherries is uneven, because we are in the later stages of the delivery season. The quality differences can be severe, which means that the daily morning market only has a retail volume of around 60% of the total volume delivered.

5 kg bags of Chilean cherries

As far as packaging is concerned, conditions are similar to last week. In the approach to Chinese New Year, the 2.5 kg bags of Chilean cherries sell well. The 5 kg bags, however, have encountered difficulties. At the end of week 6, regular-quality JD-grade cherries sell for 250 yuan [39.51 USD] in the case of 5 kg bags of Lapin cherries. The 2.5 kg bags sell around 200 yuan [31.61 USD]. The price difference between the two is not great.

2.5 kg box of Chilean cherries
It is important to note that the first air freight of Chilean plums in the 2018 production season also arrived on the market at the beginning of this week. 9 kg plastic baskets of air freighted plums began at 260-300 yuan [41.09-47.41 USD]. They received a lot of attention in the market. However, when the price of cherries dropped, the attention of buyers shifted back to cherries. The retail speed of plums subsequently slowed down.

Air freighted Chilean plums

This week the red grapes from Peru, the black grapes from India, and the seedless red grapes from South Africa showed varying degrees of price increases. This was in stark contrast with cherries and plums from the southern hemisphere. Furthermore, the retail speed built up. It is also important to note that last year around Spring Festival the market warmly welcomed seedless red grapes and black grapes from Australia, but this year only a small volume of those grapes made it to the Chinese market. This was the result of policy, as well as the influence of fruit flies.

Peruvian Red Globes

The reduced volume of Australian grapes obviously reduces market competition for South African and Indian grapes of similar quality. The Peruvian Red Globe grape remains stable in the price range of 180-210 yuan [28.45-33.19 USD] per box of 8.2 kg, even after the increased supply in the second half of week 6. As far as seedless grapes are concerned, the price of red Ralli grapes from South Africa increased to around 140 yuan [22.12 USD] per 4.5 kg bag. The seedless black grapes from India and South Africa are similarly stable at an increased price of around 170 yuan [26.87 USD].

Author: Yang Shuang

Publication date: 2/13/2018


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