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Chinese fruit production increases

The Chinese fruit production has risen in the 2011/2012 season. This is seen from a report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Among others, favorable growing conditions and better management have led to higher production of Chinese apples, grapes and pears.


The prognosis for the 2011/2012 season, which runs from July 2011 to June 2012 is 35 million tons, an increase of 5% over the 2010/2011 season. The area reportedly grew by 3% compared to the previous year (22 million hectares). Most of the acreage increase occurred in western provinces, where labor costs are lower and where there is more farmland than in the east. The prices for apples in Shangdong were 0.88 to 1.00 Dollar per kilo, although the demand, which was less than expected, drove prices down. The foreign apple imports increased by 8% over the 2010/2011 season with a total import of 80,000 tons.

The main suppliers of China, are the United States with a total export to China and Hong Kong worth $ 62 million. In particular, the Red Delicious apples from Washington State are popular. The import of Gala and Granny Smith apples also increased despite the high prices. The total Chinese export is estimated at 110,000 tonnes for 2011/2012, an increase of 4% compared to 2010/2011. The demand for low-grade apples in Russia and neighbouring Asian have supported exports.

Chinese apple- and pear production area x1000ha

hectare     2006    2007    2008    2009     2010

Apples      1.898   1.961    1.992   2.049   2139

Pears       1.087    1.071    1.074   1.074.  1.063

(source: China  Agriculture Statistical Report)

Chinese apple- and pear production in tonnes

Production  2006     2007     2008     2009     2010

Apples        26.059  27.859  29.846  31.680   33.263

Pears          11.986 12.895   13.538  14.262   15.057

(source: China Agriculture Statistical Report)


Despite a 1% decrease in acreage it is expected that the pear production for 2011/2012 will rise by 4% compared to last season. The total production is estimated at 15.6 million tonnes. The increase is primarily attributable to the favourable weather in pear producing regions. The total area covers 1.05 million hectares for 2011/2012. The prices were 50% higher than last season with prices ranging from $ 1.39 to $ 1.47 per kilo. The total imports rose by 46% compared to last year with a final forecast for 2011/2012 of 500 tons. The import increase is largely attributable to the opening of borders to Belgian fruit. In 2010 the United States provided pears and quinces to China and Hong Kong worth $ 3 million. This is despite the fact that the U.S. has no official access to the market. The export of pears fell by 5% over the previous year with a forecast of 400,000 tons. Neighbouring countries maintained a constant demand for Chinese pears, but the rising export costs and the value of local currencies, are factors that reduced foreign purchases.


Besides an increase of 9% in the Chinese grape acreage it is expected that production for 2011/2012 will rise by 8% to a total of 6.7 million tonnes. The total acreage is forecast at 600,000 hectares. The farm gate price for Red Globe grapes reached $ 0.91 per kilogram in 2010/2011, but fell to $ 0.60 per kilo this year. The decrease was attributed to the increased production, which came a long way to meet the high demand.

Chinese grape acreage and production (x 1000ha and in tonnes)

Grapes        2006           2007          2008        2009           2010

Area            418.7         438.4         451.2        493.4          552.0

Production    6270.756   6696.814    7151.48    7940.612     8548.946

Imports have risen by 27% compared to last year with the final outcome of 150,000 tons. The strong demand for foreign grapes is met with fruit from Chile, the United States and Peru.

Last year the total value of U.S. grape shipments to China was estimated at $ 92 million, an increase of 19% over the previous year. This is due mainly to strong demand for (seedless) American grapes, which are regarded as high quality. The total Chinese exports grapes for 2011/2012 is estimated at 115,000 tons, an increase of 30% compared to last season.

Source: USDA/FAS

Publication date: 5/9/2012


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