North and south China compete to supply the fresh pear market

The season of fresh pears has arrived. The Imperial Crown pears from Hebei, Zaosu pears from Shaanxi, Honey pears from the south and Cuiguan pears, all enter the Chinese market one after the other. However, there are significant price differences between different pear varieties. The Imperial Crown pears from Hebei show an overall price increase, but the prices of other pear varieties are not great.

There was a cold snap in April and hail storms as well as excessive rainfall in May. These weather conditions had a direct impact on the production volume of Imperial Crown pears. The reduced production volume pushed the price up as soon as the season started. The price of Imperial Crown pears already increased by 25%-35% in one week.

Not only is the overall production volume smaller than last year, but the percentage of top-quality fruit is also smaller. Visiting traders are competing to purchase the highest quality pears before they run out. That is the main reason that the price is soaring. Many pears suffered from extreme weather conditions during the growing season. The percentage of commercially viable fruit is therefore limited. As the warehouses are emptied during this season, the price is likely to rise even further.

While the price of Hebei pears is soaring and sales are smooth, the early-season Zaosu pears from Shaanxi are in trouble. These pears are quite popular, which invited a lot of speculation in the market. The inflated price reached as high as 7-8 yuan [1.02-1.17 USD] per 0.5 kg. Many farmers in Henan and Shaanxi began to cultivate Zaosu pears because the price was so high, but now that the overall surface area devoted to Zaosu pear plantation and the harvest turned out abundant, the market is flooded and Zaosu pears encounter sales difficulties.

In addition, Honey pears from south China as well as Cuiguan pears from Zhejiang also entered the Chinese market. Excessive rainfall is estimated to have reduced the production volume of pears in Zhejiang by 20%. However, the smaller production volume did not lead to higher prices. First-grade Cuiguan pears used to sell for around 4 yuan [0.58 USD] per 0.5 kg in previous years, but now they barely reach 2 yuan [0.29 USD] per 0.5 kg. This is because excessive rainfall also complicated distribution, so visiting traders were not eager to purchase these pears.


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