"China's major production area has already moved north"
"Citrus greening disease causes drop of 70%-80% for Gannan Navel orange"

"Navel orange is at present the most expensive, native agricultural brand. At the height of its development the total surface area devoted to Navel orange plantations doubled to 107 thousand hectares. At first the three major production areas were Anyuan, Xunwu, and Xinfeng. These three places were the first to start Navel orange production and they did so on the largest scale. Since 2012, however, these areas have suffered from a widespread outbreak of citrus greening disease, and in recent years their production volume has decreased with 70%-80%." This is according to Mr. Gu Yuanfeng of Shenzhen Mu Tian Agricultural Development Co., Ltd.

Gannan Navel orange plantation

Navel orange plantation of Mu Tian Agricultural Development

"At present, the entire Gannan Navel orange production area has already moved to Ningdu, Xingguo, Ruijin, and Chongyi. The main advantage of these production areas is that the weather is relatively cold, which limits the spread of citrus greening disease. Another important advantage is that after years of accumulated experience with citrus greening disease, even though it is still a citrus disease that can not be cured, farmers in all production areas have gradually deepened their understanding of this disease. They are able to adopt effective management in regular seasons for the prevention of plant diseases and insect pests, including citrus greening disease, as well as sensible use of fertilizer."

Navel orange plantation

Extensive Navel orange plantation

"As far as the nationwide, overall market conditions in 2017 are concerned, the market selling price of Navel oranges is still as strong as before. The price of 2 yuan [0.32 USD] per 0.5 kg at the beginning of the production season has increased to 3 yuan [0.48 USD] per 0.5 kg at present. The overall production volume is also relatively stable. On the one hand, Gannan Navel orange production has decreased to about 1/3 as a result of citrus greening disease. On the other hand, the Navel orange production of Hubei, Hunan, and Guangxi show significant expansion of plantations and production volume has increased substantially as a result of this expansion. Government departments continuously implement severe measures to restore the production of production areas that have suffered greatly from citrus greening disease. In the next few years, Gannan will restore and increase Navel orange production."

Navel orange demonstration orchard

Plantation between mountains and water

"Even though the nationwide, overall surface area devoted to Navel orange production is close to 400 thousand hectares, and production volume is 7 million tons, still the industry is unable to satisfy consumer demand. This creates room for imported Navel oranges from South Africa and Egypt. The imported oranges have a clear price advantage as a result of relatively low labor and plantation costs. This has created a strange market situation where imported oranges are cheaper than domestic oranges. Still, some of the imported oranges, such as those from Egypt, can not compete with domestic oranges when it comes to taste, sugar content, and fertilizer residues."

"Jingui Honey Spring Orange" plantation

"The peak period for imported oranges is May to October. In this period the domestic production volume of oranges has largely left the market. Only a small amount of late-maturing orange varieties still provide a limited supply. One example is the Summer Orange, which looks quite different from imported oranges. Many domestic plantation owners with a vision look to this gap in the market. They are currently vigorously cultivating late-maturing orange varieties to compete with imported Navel oranges."

Plantation view

"Overall, the current Navel orange market is stable, and the income of plantation owners is not bad. The sales volume will certainly increase during the Spring Festival. However, that is not all that matters. The price of imported fruit, such as cherries, is comparatively low this year, and consumers have a wide variety from which to choose."

Gu Yuanfeng
Shenzhen Mu Tian Agricultural Development Co., Ltd.
Company telephone:+86 138 2314 5911
Company e-mail: 2261788979@qq.com

Publication date: 2/5/2018

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