Recently, cranberry producers in Massachusetts and across the United States have been suffering from slow sales. Three major producers, the United States, Canada, and Chile, all saw bumper harvests over the past years, resulting in oversupply and many growers are on the verge of bankruptcy. To make matters worse, the ongoing US-China trade war has further squeezed global cranberry sales for US growers.
Over the past few years, the US cranberry industry spent millions of dollars on marketing in China, and the multi-channel marketing approach was proven effective. From 2013 to 2018, sales of dried cranberries in China increased rapidly. In 2018, China purchased nearly $55 million worth of cranberries, making it the largest buyer of this fruit for the United States. Then the trade war began. In June 2018, Washington authorized additional tariffs worth 50 billion US dollars targeting Chinese exports to the United States. China took retaliatory measures and increased tariffs on US products including cranberries from 15% to 40%.
President Trump insists that the trade war will ultimately benefit the US agriculture, but the latest data shows that many Chinese companies have begun to cut off US cranberry suppliers and purchase from Canada. According to US export data, cranberries exported to China in the first half of 2019 showed a decline year-on-year.
Source: Global Times