Last year was a good year for Chinese apple farmers. The weather conditions were excellent and the harvest was one of the largest in history. Data shows that this year has the potential to become another abundant year. The apple trees in many production areas are bearing the same amount of fruit as last year and only a small number of production areas reported a significant decline in production.
Production areas in Shandong suffered from frost and hailstorms for several days and the production volume in some villages declined as a result of these weather conditions. However, farmers were also careful not to thin out too many flowers, precisely because the weather conditions were poor, and the ratio of fruit that grew on the tree is larger than in previous years.
Apple farmers are of course hesitant to thin out too many flowers, because they can not predict the weather conditions and so they do not know how many apples will survive. The downside is that too many apples will drain the energy of the apple tree, which results in smaller apples. If not enough apples are removed, the ratio of small apples will be large this year and top-quality apples will be more difficult to find when the apples are harvested in October.
The conditions are quite similar in apple orchards in Shaanxi and Gansu. The overall apple production volume is likely to decline only a little, perhaps 10%. One thing is for sure, though, the product quality of apples will not be as good as last year. There is too much fruit on the trees and the apples suffered from frost and hailstorms. This has a negative impact on the product quality of apples.