Tomatoes are one of the more popular vegetables in the Chinese market. The number of production areas is quite large and they are distributed across the country. The most recent production season finished in January, but some of the other production areas are already starting the new production season. This includes production areas in Sichuan, Yunnan, Shandong, Shaanxi, and Gansu.
Mr. Wang Lei of Lei Lei Farm owns several tomato greenhouses in Shaanxi. He recently talked about the current conditions in the Chinese tomato market: "The tomatoes currently on the market mainly come from Shandong, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Yunnan, and Gansu. The tomato industry suffered from the recent outbreak of COVID-19. We encountered difficulties with transportation and the cost price of production increased. This in turn resulted in a higher retail price. The outbreak of COVID-19 is gradually brought under control in China. We expect distribution to continue to improve. The market price of tomatoes is quite stable at the moment because there is a balance between supply and demand."
"The production volume was not small this year. We still mainly produce the Provence tomato variety. The product qualities of the various tomatoes available in the Chinese market show huge differences. We have our own tomato plantation and we produce our tomatoes with particular care to avoid any negative impact on the natural environment. We have 4 years of experience and we have improved the product quality of our tomatoes to an exceptionally high level. However, some other producers do not have a lot of experience and their product quality is not that high. Apart from this, the price of tomatoes mainly depends on the production area and the flavor. Another element of the retail price is the cost price of particular tomato varieties. The tomatoes from Shaanxi are quite expensive at the moment, around 3.5 yuan [0.50 USD] per 0.5 kg. That is because these are greenhouse tomatoes. Their cost price is relatively high, but so is the product quality. The temperature differences are quite high in a greenhouse, which means that the sugar content of the tomatoes is also quite high. They are delicious. The tomatoes from Sichuan and Yunnan are relatively cheap because they are open-field tomatoes."
When asked about the prospects of the Chinese tomato industry, Mr. Wang Lei replied: "The overall surface area devoted to tomato plantation is still growing. And this trend is expected to continue for 2 more years. This may lead to unmarketable conditions. One of the important factors of tomato sales in the Chinese market is the packaging. We are therefore improving both the product quality and the packaging of our tomatoes. We are investing large amounts in these aspects of our tomato products. Our products are very popular in the Chines market. A large number of our customers come back for more. The main reason for their loyalty is the delicious flavor of our tomatoes.
"We are considering tomato export in the future, when we are able to guarantee that all our tomatoes meet international standards. The main issue that we have to solve is to transport our tomatoes over long distances while maintaining product quality. We are therefore focusing on the domestic market for now. We hope to establish a firm foundation in the domestic market on which we can grow our business."
For more information:
Mr. Wang Lei
Lei Lei Farm
Tel.: +86 159 6233 9393