What to expect in the sweet cherry market for the 2015 Chinese New Year?

With greater volumes than last season and a celebration that will come very "late". The question is: How much of the Chilean supply will be available for the Chinese New Year (CNY)?

Large volumes

With a record volume of 46,617 tons and an increasing share of the total exported volume, ended the 2013/14 season for the Chilean sweet cherries in the market of China/HK. Despite registering 38% more volume than the previous year, this figure does not reflect the total export potential of Chile, due to the frost last September. Therefore, if no major weather events occur, it is expected that this figure be much higher this season.

A celebration later than usual

Since the date of the CNY, varies according to the lunar calendar, it is not fixed, and it changes to the date with new moon closest to the day in between the winter solstice (Northernt H.) and the spring equinox (Northern H.), that is the new moon nearest to the period between February 3rd and 5th. In 2015 it will be February 19th. In 1996 was the last time when CNY was celebrated so late, being 2007 the nearest year when the CNY was celebrated a day before (Feb. 18th). Should be remembered that until the week before CNY 92% of the total volume of sweet cherries shipped to China/HK arrives.

Higher prices near the CNY, but not as much as last year

During the 2013/14 season Historical prices for Chilean sweet cherries were recorded, especially during the weeks before the celebration of the CNY. Although this could be explained by the growing demand in this market, the uncertainty present at the start of the season, due to poor knowledge of the actual damage caused by the frost could be another reason. The high prices recorded for the first shipments of the 2013/14 season are proof of this.

During the present US season in China/HK, which have just ended, high prices were also recorded, however this has been due to lower production. Therefore it is necessary to strengthen the efforts in fruit quality, distribution and logistics, so that when facing a significant increase in the volumes from Chile, the importers found no quality problems, or don’t get over-stock with fruit.

How will the market behaviour be after CNY?

Last season, the price fell sharply on the three weeks after the Chinese New Year, and then close with high prices for the last batch of good quality. However, after 2015 CNY, the Chinese market would only receive a portion equivalent to less than 1% of the total exports shipped in a regular season, compared with a 4% on average recorded in previous seasons after CNY.

Source: www.iqonsulting.com

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