"Chinese apple exports decline as a result of labor shortages"

"The apple harvest in Shaanxi was not bad this year. The overall production volume increased by around 30% in comparison with last year. However, because the production areas suffered from drought early in the season and from excessive rainfall later in the season, some of the fruit is flawed." Manager Zhong of Baishui County Shenglong Fruit Industry Co., Ltd. analysed the harvest in Shaanxi production areas and the export conditions of Chinese apples this season.

"The overall surface area devoted to apple plantation in Shaanxi expanded this year. The production volume consequently increased, and the price suffered. The price of the early-season red Fuji was quite high. The purchase price was around 3-4 yuan [0.42-0.56 USD] per 0.5 kg. The late-season red Fuji is in the middle of harvest season. The current purchase price is around 2.5 yuan [0.35 USD] per 0.5 kg. That is a price decline of around 30% in comparison with the same period last year.

As for apple export this year, our export volume is slightly lower than last year. This is not because we did not receive sufficient orders, but because orchards are in the middle of harvest season and farmers are bringing their products to the market. Labor is scarce around here and the labor price is high. This means that we have more orders than we have the manpower to process. We can not deliver everything on time. The wages of people harvesting our apples are around 120 yuan [16.91 USD] per day. If we ask people to work overtime during times when the order volume grows, we have to pay 10 yuan [1.41 USD] extra per hour of overtime. The labor cost is a significant part of our expenses."

"We are currently promoting our Auspicious Snow and Auspicious Sun apples. These two apple varieties are new. They were cultivated by North West Agriculture and Forestry University. These varieties are very well-suited to the production areas in Shaanxi and Gansu in the northwest of China.

The Auspicious Snow apple is yellow and the flavor is sweet and sour. The Auspicious Sun apple is red and the flavor is sweet. Many orchards in Shaanxi are currently trying out these new apple varieties, but the overall production area devoted to these new varieties is still small. The production volume will only satisfy local demand.

The Auspicious Snow and Auspicious Sun apples sold on the market last year received great feedback from consumers. The market price is around 20 yuan [2.82 USD] per 0.5 kg. Pre-orders for these two varieties are already coming in. The harvest will begin around 20 September. We can not wait for the opportunity to bring the flavor of these new apple varieties to even more customers," stated manager Zhong.

The products of the Shenglong Fruit Industry are mainly exported to Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand. "India used to be one of our largest export markets, but in July 2017 the Indian government prohibited the import of Chinese apples. Many apple traders suffered from this policy change. However, we understand that delegations from India came to China in September to discuss the possibility of reopening the apple trade between China and India. We hope they will be able to find a solution quickly."

For more information:

Zhong - Manager

Baishui County Shenglong Fruit Industry Co., Ltd.

Tel.: +86 9136188880 

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