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Week 6 Import market analysis

China: Spanish orange market looks bleak. Chilean grapes start to arrive

The import market is still slow in the second work week after the Spring Festival ended. This week, Chilean cherries have already left without a trace. The new seasonal products that have replaced them are Egyptian oranges, late maturing Navel oranges from Spain, and Chilean grapes.

As for Egyptian oranges, this year many Chinese importers have a taste for Egyptian Navel oranges, so their volume is growing. In addition, the domestic production volume of oranges in China has entered the market at the same time. This has caused a market situation in early March where a sizeable volume of Egyptian oranges and Chinese oranges has not yet been consumed. However, since the taste of domestic oranges is sweeter, the Egyptian oranges suffer more in retail sales uptake and prices from these market conditions.

The price of medium-quality Egyptian oranges at the end of week 6 was only 70-75 yuan [11.06-11.85 USD] (taking a 64# grade 15 kg bag of oranges as example). Furthermore, transportation is slow. The retail market for Egyptian Valencia oranges is also affected. Valencia oranges have started to arrive this week, but the stock of Egyptian Navel oranges is not yet finished. 

An additional problems is that, as a result of weather conditions, the production of large class oranges in Egypt has suffered during this new production season. The production volume is reduced and there are visible problems with the rough orange peel. The supply volume of oranges this year is only about half the volume that was supplied last year. The price of oranges with a relatively good market quality at the end of week 5 was 100-110 yuan [15.81-17.39 USD], but the overall supply speed is slow.

Apart from Egyptian oranges there are also imported oranges from the USA and Spain. The stock of Navel oranges from the USA is similar to that of Egyptian oranges in that there is a large volume that is not yet consumed. This has caused the overall price of Navel oranges from the USA to drop. At the end of this week the price of 88 grade Navel oranges from the USA was only 250-260 yuan [39.51-41.09 USD] (taking a 21 kg bag as example).

The market development of Egyptian oranges and US oranges places the Lane Late oranges from Spain in an awkward position in between the two. In addition, the current supply of oranges from Spain shows obvious signs of frostbite. This has caused consumer demand to be divided between Egyptian oranges and US oranges, leading the price of Spanish oranges to keep falling. At the end of this week, the market price of relatively good-quality Spanish oranges was around 170 yuan [26.87 USD]. This is one of the lowest prices ever reported by suppliers of Spanish oranges, which makes it difficult for importers to make a profit.

As for grapes, the market supply is currently going through a phase of moving from Peruvian grapes to Chilean grapes. A small volume of Chilean grapes has already arrived, but since these are early-season grapes, their taste is not sufficiently sweet. This has resulted in a downward price adjustment for Chilean grapes in week 5. The price went from 170-180 yuan [26.87-28.45 USD] to 140-150 yuan [22.13-23.71 USD]. The Peruvian grapes are in the last stage where all supply has been delivered, and currently the warehouses are being emptied. However, since their quality is irregular, the market price shows relatively large fluctuations. The price of medium-quality Peruvian grapes this week was only 130-140 yuan [20.55-22.13 USD], while the high-quality Peruvian grapes could still fetch prices of 170-180 yuan [26.87-28.45 USD].

Unlike in previous years, the Australian grapes this year showed a corresponding delay in their arrival on the market and decrease in the volume that enters the market. The overall production volume of Australian grapes this year has decreased as a result of weather conditions. Furthermore, while the color is slightly darker than in previous years, the grapes are also smaller than in previous years. The price of Australian grapes currently entering the market is lower than in previous years as a result of the overall changes in quality. The price of medium-quality seedless red grapes is only 250-260 yuan [39.51-41.09 USD], and transport is slow. Many importers have stated that these conditions should gradually improve as the season progresses.

Author: Yang Shuang    

Publication date: 3/13/2018


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