While other mandarins are only just ripening, the harvest of Wenzhou Satsuma mandarins already began in Longzhou, Guangxi, in the middle of June. The harvest officially opened the Satsuma mandarin retail season in China this year. Early-season mandarins usually enter the market in small volumes in the middle of June. The Wenzhou Satsuma mandarins from Hunan and Yunnan normally only enter the market in the middle of July.
The flavor of early-season mandarins is still quite sour. Supermarkets can not sell them until later this month when the flavor has improved. The early-season mandarins entered the market three days later than last year. The fruit size is quite small. The production volume significantly declined as well. The overall production volume is only about 70%-80% of last year's production volume. There was continuous rain during the pollination period, and new shoots quickly sprouted during summer, which made it more difficult to protect the fruit.
The production volume is significantly smaller, so why did the purchase price not rise? The main reason is the slow retail speed of Orri mandarins and Maogu mandarins from storage. The supply from warehouses puts pressure on the sales of fresh early-season mandarins. The price of Orri mandarins from warehouses in Wuming, Guangxi, is around 2.3-2.5 yuan [0.32-0.35 USD] per 0.5 kg. Some people in the industry say that there is too much pressure in the market. A lot of fruit is left to rot. Other reasons for the low price include the sour flavor and the small size.