China is a very important export market for Chilean Dagen plums. Every year a large volume of sugar plums is exported to the Chinese market and is received quite well. However, this year the overall market conditions were quite different, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its backlash on the market.
The season for Chilean sugar plums ended last week, but the commercial manager of Giddings Cerasus Gonzalo Larraín, shed some light on how the season actually went this year: "The export volume went down to about 50% of last years amounts. This large decrease was mainly because of some exporters' bad experience of last season and the COVID-19 situation in China, which occurred at the same time as the harvest in Chile. Since this product is mainly exported to China, many importers, exporters and growers therefore tried to avoid additional risks and halted the harvest of fresh produce. They decided to use their sugar plums for the dehydration industry, which had less risks than the fresh produce. Though this also meant that the supply of fresh produce went down a lot."
The main variety Giddings Fruit sells is the Dagen variety, planted from Santiago to the Linares area (Metropolitan, O’Higgins and Maule Regions).
Gonzalo Larraín spoke about this variety : "This year there were no major weather issues during the growing season, so the quality was very good. The timing of the product is one of the challenges, because harvest typically lasts for no more than 4 weeks starting late January, but you can find it in the Chinese markets for about 11 weeks. This can be achieved by using air and ocean freight options and achieving the proper segregation of the fruit combined with the right post harvest techniques. We have a lot of experience with these techniques and logistics now, so we can guarantee our partners that the sugar plums they are getting are always of good quality and fresh."
Sales in the Chinese market
According to Simón Brantes, Giddings China Market Manager, the sales in the Chinese market were still alright, considering the impact of COVID-19: "The market for these sugar plums was good in February, March and April. Overall, the price has been quite sensitive to the volume and quality available at any specific moment. China is the main destination for sugar plums exports, and no significant volumes go to any other markets. So the fact that the Chinese sales were still okay this year, was quite important for us. Most of the volume is commercialized at destination markets between mid Feb-mid-April, and the marginal volumes left finished selling one week to 10 days ago in the Shanghai and Guangzhou primary markets."
Outside Jiangnan fruit wholesale market Guangzhou
"The beginning of the sugar plum season coincides with the end of Chilean cherry season and it is considered a natural substitute after the cherry season, as Chilean sugar plums have a very attractive size, brix and flavour for the Chinese market. Furthermore, it has a large advantage in terms of storage and post-harvest life compared with other fruits."
"Another important aspect about this fruit is the fact that it is a well-known fruit to the Chinese consumer. Due to the relatively big local production of Xinjiang plums, which produce the same variety, the Dagen plum is totally incorporated in the Chinese diet. There is more knowledge about the properties of this fruit, its nutritional value and its benefits because it has been around for a longer time, being trendy for being associated with good health. These health benefits are also further promoted by retail stores, for example on advertisements at gondola level."
Chilean sugar plums just arrived at the market
Giddings Fruit is a leading fruit export company from Chile. They have production & operations in Peru, Mexico and the USA as well. They are specialized in exporting different kind of fruits to multiple countries around the world with the main focus on cherries and berries. They are keen to continue researching and further developing the possibilities of exports to Asia.
For more information:
Giddings Fruit China office:
Simón Brantes - Market Manager China
Tel：+86 21 515 816 88
Mobile：+86 182 2172 0836 (WeChat）
Giddings Cerasus Chile office:
Gonzalo Larraín - Commercial manager