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China apple production to increase by 10%
Fuji Crop 2013:
The Shaanxi and Gansu regions were heavily hit by a spring frost. These events decreased the amount of apples in these regions, however the total overall Chinese apple production will increase by as much as 10 percent. The increase in production is due to more apples being grown in the Henan and Hebei provinces. They estimate the production in the Yantai region is down by about 10% but the total production in Shandong province as a whole in increase about 5% due to more and more new planting for the past few years.
From Alpha's random sampling in the orchards, they found that the quality is not as good as last season. There are more rustic, mold, rots, and insect bites due to continue rain during the month of July.
In general the fruit size will be smaller than last year. It will be peaking around 100 or even 113's. Alpha is seeing this smaller size trend in the red generals (early fake fuji variety).
The prices of early varieties such as Galas and Red general are quite high at the moment. The prices have doubled for Galas, and Red general prices have already surpassed last year's Fuji prices. This is due to the shortage of apples in the domestic market this time of the year and the anticipated market for mid Autumn Festival (September 20th). However early variety prices do not have any indication on what the Fuji prices will be, because the quantity of these early variety is so small. Normally it is determined by previous market situations and seller's optimism. Most apple sellers in China had lost a lot of money, so their optimism is at an all time low which will have an effect on pricing.
Alpha predicts that the Fuji harvest this year is going to be around October 10th. This is about one week, to 10 days later than last season because of late blooming, and farmer's tendency to keep the fruit on the tree longer in hope that it grows to bigger sizes. The challenge of a late harvest is that we do not have a lot of time before we need to finish the harvesting. On the Chinese calendar, it is marked on October 23rd that temperatures will be below 0 degrees. If any apples are still on the tree at that time, the fruit will not be keep able for long term storage.
Alfa will be able start shipping around the third week of October. They look forward to a new and profitable 2013 apple season.
For more information:
Steve Leung, Managing Director
Alfa Fruit Packers Ltd
Tel: 86 535 538 3888
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