China: Consumers shocked by 78 percent fruit price hike

Recently, an expert from the non-profit organization Chinese Nutrition Society posted an article which suggested that every adult should eat one pound of vegetables and a half pound of fruits every day. In the comment section of the article, many Chinese netizens posted the same feedback: “We cannot afford it.”

Zhang Junhua, manager of the market statistics department at Xinfadi Produce Wholesale Center in Beijing, told Chinese state media The Beijing News that currently, the average price of fruits at Xinfadi Wholesale Center is 6.15 yuan ($0.89) per kilogram, an increase of approximately 78 percent from the same period last year. The increase in the past seven days alone is about 10 percent. The price hike affects apples, citrus, kiwi and pears.

A salesperson at the wholesale center stated that compared with last year, 80 percent of the fruits have had a price increase.

Ms. Zheng, a fruit retailer in Beijing, said that the price for a ‘gold nugget’ -a tangerine- in her store was around 5 yuan ($0.73) per pound last year, and the current price is around 10 yuan ($1.46) per pound. Several fruit retail owners said that pears won’t sell, because they are too expensive this year.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture set up a National Agricultural Products Wholesale Market Price Information System in 1995 to monitor wholesale prices of agricultural products. Recent data from this system showed that fruit prices have inflated throughout China, and the inflation suddenly accelerated since mid-March.

According to information shared from netizens, lychee is now 60 yuan ($8.72) per pound in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. In many places, consumers pay 10 yuan ($1.45) for one kiwi fruit. Two bunches of grapes would cost over 80 yuan ($11.60).

In China, the salary for an average government employee ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 yuan ($436-$726) every month. The variation mostly comes from regional differences.


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