The new harvest season of Australian tangerines is about to open officially. Fruit exporters are keeping a close eye on developments in the Chinese market. Altaifresh Limited is a company specialized in the import of top-quality fruit. Every year, the Altaifresh team imports early-season tangerines from Australia to the Chinese market. They have already purchased the first shipping container of the new season. Mr. Mike Wang of Altaifresh has noted, like many other fruit importers, that the Chinese market conditions are now very different from previous years.
According to Mr. Mike Wang: "We start selling our first shipping container of Australian tangerines this week, but sales conditions are difficult. The product quality of early-season tangerines is not great this year. The fruit is artificially ripened and the fragrance is not ideal, which is why these tangerines are struggling in the Chinese market. We sold these same tangerines last year, but then the color was much more promising and the flavor was excellent. The sales conditions were much better last year. We had no problem selling these tangerines then. However, we believe that as the production season proceeds, the product quality will continue to improve a lot. Australia has several early-season tangerine varieties, such as the Nova, Royal Honey Murcott, and the Daisy, which is the tangerine variety we are selling this year."
Another shipping container full of Australian tangerines will arrive in 10 days. Australian oranges are also later than usual this year. Everybody in the industry wants to know how the Australian citrus export will develop. However, as Mr. Mike Wang explained, the market conditions are difficult to predict this year. "The oranges have not yet entered the market. We have only received one shipping container of tangerines. We do not have enough information to predict how the sales conditions will develop. However, the current state of the import fruit market is not great. The outbreak of Covid-19 had a disastrous impact on the economy and society as well. Many people have been let go or have their wages reduced because there is not enough work. That means the purchasing power of consumers is weaker than before. Consumers are unwilling to pay too much for fruit. If traders want to sell their stock at the same speed as last year, they have to lower their prices to extremely low levels, but then they will suffer financial loss."
"Look at Jiangnan Wholesale Market, for example, and you will see that the prices of import fruit are all lower than last year. That is the case for Egyptian oranges, US oranges, Chilean kiwi fruit, and Australian grapes. Importers are losing money this year. We have to change our approach under these circumstances. If we import at a fixed price, as we did last year, then we will suffer financial loss. We have to purchase at much lower prices if we are to make a profit. In reality, some suppliers have already lowered their prices to more reasonable levels, but importers are still losing money in the Chinese market. That is why importers are so careful these days."
"The price of Egyptian oranges, for example, is currently coming down. However, when market conditions are not great, many traders decide to place the Egyptian oranges that have already arrived in refrigerated storage until the price improves. The market generally improves in May because that is when the production season of domestic oranges comes to an end. However, the market does not show that same pattern this year. The price of Egyptian oranges is still falling. At the same time, many of the Egyptian oranges in refrigerated storage have been in storage for too long. Importers have no other option but to sell these oranges at much lower prices and suffer financial loss."
"We can only remain hopeful and work hard to ensure that the new production season turns out better. The season has only just begun and there is still a lot we can do to improve conditions. We will see how the season develops."
For more information:
Mr. Mike Wang - Manager
Tel.: +86 139 2507 3993