The Chinese fruit market is slowly improving as the Covid-19 pandemic is brought under control. However, the profit margin is much smaller for importer traders in comparison with last year." This is according to Mr. Li, a spokesperson for an international transport agency.
"The overall import volume of oranges significantly declined this year. Restaurants and drink shops closed down for two or three months, which significantly reduced market demand for oranges. The Egyptian oranges are often used to make juice from, which means that Chinese market demand for Egyptian oranges quickly dropped. The oranges that already arrived were difficult to sell. Many of these oranges were stored in refrigerated warehouses. Furthermore, many shipping containers with oranges were stuck in the port due to backlogs," explained Mr. Li.
"The sales season of Egyptian oranges often continued until late June or July in previous years, but this year the season already ended in early June. There were virtually no Egyptian oranges available."
When asked about the permission obtained by Chile for orange export to the Chinese market, Mr. Li replied, "We do not yet have clients who import oranges from Chile. Most of the oranges in the market come from Egypt and South Africa. In the near future that will not change, but there are likely importers who will start by bringing in Chilean oranges in small volumes. Buyers do not easily change the source of their supply, because they are unfamiliar with the product quality of a new supplier. Furthermore, the market is not familiar with new product varieties, which means that it will take time to introduce Chilean oranges to Chinese consumers. Importers will proceed with care."
"In addition to oranges, the import volume of cherries also decreased this season. The cherry market fell into chaos in late January when the outbreak of Covid-19 began to affect the Chinese fruit market. Importers were unwilling to take the risks involved in bringing cherries to the Chinese market. Several hundred shipping containers full of cherries were stuck in the port and became unmarketable. The import season of Chilean cherries came to an end in late April and cherries from the USA gradually began to take over. However, the sales conditions did not improve. The situation was further exacerbated by the consequences of the Sino-US trade war. The customs tariffs on fruit continued to rise. The limited number of ships between the USA and China did not help either. Distribution severely slowed down."
"When China first began to open its borders and Chinese consumers started to enjoy higher living standards, consumer demand for imported fruit skyrocketed. The outbreak of Covid-19, however, was a severe hit to the market. The sales conditions are far worse than last year. More recently we have seen the market conditions improve, but there is still a long way to go before the fruit market is completely restored. We hope to be able to help our clients and provide them with suitable solutions in this difficult market," said Mr. Li.