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China pomelo export to Europe under price pressure

Xiamen Rayen: “The Chinese market is more promising for us”

“Around 10% of our pomelos are exported overseas, to Europe, Russia, Canada and other markets. The remaining 90% is sold on the Chinese market. Our export season runs from week 32 up to week 52. Export to Europe is currently not easy. The European pomelo market is not growing, but the number of exporters and importers active on the market is. This oppresses prices. In addition, the low Euro exchange rate is not helping us,” according to Cherrie Yang, the export manager of Xiamen Rayen Co. Ltd.

“We sell to European buyers on a fixed price base and we are exposed to constant price pressure. The price of pomelo in USD this year is lower than in the past years, but this effect is diminished by the low Euro. European distributors and supermarkets do not want to charge higher prices to their end-customers. As a result, profit margins for producers have become small. That is why the Chinese market has become more important to us. At least we do not have the problem with the exchange rate and local oversupply. We also sell to markets outside Europe, including the Middle-East and Canada. So far these markets do not look so encouraging. We are currently not allowed to export Chinese Pomelo to the USA”. 

Newly harvested Xiamen Rayen honey pomelo ready for export

Opportunities for import fruit in China

“We have our own fields and we work with a cooperative of more than 100 pomelo farmers in Pinghe county, in Fujian province. Farms in China are generally small scale due to national land policies. In total we receive our crop from 250 hectares planted with pomelo trees. There is a 500 year history of growing pomelo in this area. We work in close cooperation with our farmers. Several times a year our expert teams visit the orchards. We advise and assist on all matters that concern the pomelo harvest, including disease, MRL control and the use of pesticides. 5-6 years ago, MRL levels were a common problem in this region, now we have this almost under control”. 

"Export volume of pomelo is currently around 20% lower than in the same period last year. This year's crop is larger than before. Prices at the moment, however, are already very low compared to the past years. If prices go even lower, farmers will lose money. Our farmers then prefer to keep the fruit on the trees for a couple of weeks longer. The fruit will grow bigger and juicier. Pomelos in China are sold by the kilo, which is an advantage for the farmers too”.

“The domestic market looks promising to us. We sell to wholesale markets and supermarkets. We manage to find new sales channels in China. More of our fruit is sold directly to supermarkets at a premium price, at least, as long as there are no large discounts given. We also see a huge potential in the import of fruit. We are exploring opportunities to import grapes, cherries and blue berries from South America. We can use our connections with local supermarkets to sell the fruit on the Chinese market. Cold chain logistics could be more developed in China, but the basis is there”.

For more information:
Cherrie Yang
Xiamen Rayen Co., Ltd.
Pinghe Rayen Agricultural Products Co., Ltd.
Tel: +86 136 2500 8165 

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