Guangxi entered the sales period of late-season oranges when Shatang oranges began to enter the market in late November, 2018. After the low prices of near unmarketable Nanfeng tangerine, the price has now stabilized as Shatang and Wo oranges take over the market.
The overall sales volume of Shatang oranges is around 700 thousand tons. The average price is 2.8-3.3 yuan [0.41-0.49 USD] per 0.5 kg, which is a price decrease of around 20% in comparison with the same period last year. There are minor differences in management between Shatang orange production areas. Fruit that does not meet standards sells for 1.5-2 yuan [0.22-0.29 USD] per 0.5 kg. The supply volume of Wo oranges is still small. Their price is 3.5-4.8 yuan [0.52-0.71 USD] per 0.5 kg, which is more or less at the same level as last year.
Specialists predict that Shatang oranges will be able to maintain a price of 2.5-3 yuan [0.37-0.44 USD] per 0.5 kg, and if the weather improves, then the price may even increase. However, poor weather conditions may result in the following unfavorable consequences:
1. Shatang oranges with frost damage will hurt business
Some Shatang orange production areas have experienced snow and frost since December 29th, 2018. Fruit that has been affected is expected to show signs of decay in the next few days. Fruit that is only slightly affected by the frost still loses its crisp flavor and their shelf life is cut short by 5-7 days.
2. Oranges were late to mature this year, and farmers are worried about market competition around Chinese Spring Festival
Shatang oranges entered the market 7-10 days later this year in comparison with last year, while Spring Festival is early this year. This makes it difficult for farmers this year to fully exploit commercial opportunities around Spring Festival. Furthermore, the first month of 2019 has been overcast and rainy so far. The rain obstructs the orange harvest, which further delays supply to the market. All this delay means that Shatang oranges may have to compete with large volumes of Wo oranges in the Spring Festival market. This creates a lot of pressure.
3. Prices of second-grade fruit are further cause for worry
The overall price is already lower than last year, which causes farmers to worry about the low price and competitive sales of second-grade oranges that suffered from frost damage or coarse skin, small oranges, or oranges that were harvested before the cold weather and have been in storage because the farmers did not invest in covers to protect the oranges from cold weather.